October 8

Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:10

The believer who follows the steps of the beatitudes into the Kingdom of God will always find persecution at some point on their journey. In some countries, Christians are persecuted by imprisonment and death, while in others they meet the hostility of indifference and social rejection. It is easy to think that there are some countries where there is persecution and some where there is none, but the truth is that, wherever there is righteous living, there will be persecution. When we refuse to lie, we expose the lies of others and condemn them. Close friends and relatives may smile and dismiss us with a shrug. But remember that Jesus suffered both kinds of persecution. His own brothers and sisters would not believe in Him, and the village where He grew up was the hardest ground for Him to minister in. He understands the cool rejection that grieves us, and brings the suffering of loneliness. We may feel that our persecution is not worthy of the name, but the truth is that all believers need to know God’s promise in this verse that all we lose is but a temporary loss. All who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution – 2 Timothy 3:12, and all will inherit the Kingdom of Heaven.