“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (Matthew 5:11-12)
The wicked ways and values of the world permeate society and government on every level. This state of affairs is especially frustrating to Christians who desire peace and righteousness but who see the Lord mocked and dishonored by the very laws, events and trends that dominate the world.
This is why it is so comforting to read the words of Jesus in the Beatitudes. They bring such comfort and peace to our troubled hearts in the midst of our frustration. As children of God, members of His eternal Kingdom, we are as Jesus describes us: poor in spirit, meek and lowly, hungering for righteousness, persecuted, reviled and abused all for the sake of the gospel.
Yet, as Jesus says, in all of this we are blessed by our heavenly Father, for all the sorrow we endure for the sake of Jesus is part of normal Kingdom life on earth. So rather than being troubled by persecution, we should expect it! It is the clash of systems with contradictory values and cultures. We should not seek revenge or sulk bitterly in a constant state of gloom and depression. Rather we should be glad because persecution is proof that we are faithful believers doing the work of Jesus. The world persecuted the prophets of old; they persecuted Jesus. We should expect the same as we remain loyal to God’s standards of truth and righteousness.