Jesus closes His beatitudes with a double blessing: "Blessed . . . blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness" (see Matthew 5:10-11). The world loves people who are easygoing, flexible, not too caught up on Truth or conviction. Society says, "Happy are those who live and let live, who mimic the culture and its values." Yet, Jesus ascribes happiness to those who are persecuted for His name.
Living righteously like Jesus is naturally offensive.
Jesus was persecuted because He spoke the Truth, lived the Truth, and was willing to die for the Truth. And as we claim Jesus as the way, the Truth, and the life, we can expect the same (see John 15:18-21). Now, there are some who want to claim persecution for being offensive and unkind; Jesus does not promise them blessing. Rather, living righteously like Jesus is naturally offensive. Why? Because it reminds people of their wickedness.
When you suffer because you are distinguished from the world, be glad! When you are attacked for the sake of Christ or targeted because of His righteousness in you, rejoice! Be glad because they are treating you as they treated our Savior. Rejoice because your inheritance in heaven is great—greater than you could ever hope for or imagine.
Prayer: Jesus, thank You that You are always with me—that in any circumstance I can rejoice because You are faithful. I rest in Your promises, in the hope of glory I have by Your blood. May I bring You honor as I persevere in faith, hope, and love by the power of Your Spirit at work in me. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
"Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 5:10).