BEATITUDES: BLESSED ARE THE PERSECUTED

Matthew 5:10
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
This Beatitude, which revolves around persecution, is the most unique of the Beatitudes due to it being the only one that mentions multiple aspects. This tells the listener/reader that persecution, which is hostility because of religious/race/political beliefs, is multi-faceted and complicated. Persecution comes in all different shapes and sizes. First, there is physical persecution, which is more common than many American Christians know. This is obviously the type of persecution that comes in the form of beatings, imprisonments, stealing of freedoms etc. Unfortunately, many of the church are currently under this form of persecution. If they are faithful to the Lord, like Daniel, they are thrown into the proverbial lion’s den every day. 
Next, and more common for the American church, is the second type of persecution, which is described when Jesus says, “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely”. This is the emotional persecution that is much more prevalent in our nation. For example, when a believer is made to feel stupid in a classroom, or when a believer is made to feel like a bigot for lovingly explaining what the word of God teaches on sexuality. Or even when a believer is made to feel like an outcast for believing something out-of-date and ancient. All of these are very real persecutions that can greatly affect an individual. Although all persecution is difficult, the Lord does promise us that we are blessed and not alone. These are the two things a persecuted victim desires to feel, and Jesus reassures them of these truths! If you are persecuted for Christ’s sake you are blessed because you are able to more deeply identify with His cross! Besides that, you are far from alone in your persecution because many (including the prophets) have been persecuted before you.

Please note that Jesus says you are blessed if you are persecuted for righteousness’ sake. However, some people could be known as persecution hunters. They shockingly enjoy persecution because it appeals to their pride. They think things like, “I’m more persecuted because I’m more holy!” Jesus never says anything like this! Believe me, you don’t need to go looking for persecution. If you are sincerely living for Christ, it will find you.
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