“Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” — Jesus, Matthew 5:10, NIV, accessed from BibleGateway.com
Let’s face it, living a righteous, Godly life has never been easy. There has always been opposition. The prophets suffered greatly for their calling. John the Baptist, Jesus and many others were murdered for their faith. Early Christians met in secret because of the persecution and death they faced if discovered.
Notice that Jesus did not say fight back. He said we are blessed when people insult us, make fun of us, persecute us. We are blessed (made happy) because it means we are living in a way that is different than ”the world” and people are taking notice. Persecution means others are recognizing the Christ within us.
In the world we live in now the temptation to not only fight back, but to kill and destroy the opposition is stronger than ever. Even “good church going folks” are falling prey to this. Some pastors are even telling their congregants to arm themselves. This is not the way of Jesus.
Remember we are blessed when the world turns against us. It means we are doing something right.
Dig a Little Deeper:
How do you handle persecution against your faith/”way of life?” Are you willing to take an unpopular stand to state you are for what is right? –Regardless of the cost to you?