Promises for the Persecuted

Believers can expect to face persecution and should be ready to encourage others experiencing it.

``Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. ``Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. ``Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way, they persecuted the prophets who were before you. Matthew 5:10-12

Persecution is a scary prospect, yet it’s written into the Christian story time and time again. And the way that we think, speak, and pray about suffering for our faith can impact how we respond to such situations. When you are feeling fearful, concerned, confused, or even angry, look to God’s Word, and take comfort in Jesus’ promise that the persecuted will be blessed (Matthew 5:10-12).

Paul knew of this reassurance when he wrote to Timothy that “all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Timothy 3:12). And throughout the church today, many Christians follow Paul’s example of responding to such oppression not only with love and patience, but also with encouragement for other faithful believers. And we, likewise, can feel heartened by the promise of being blessed through our sufferings.

Think About It

Perhaps you have experienced resistance to your faith. How did that make you feel?

In today’s Western culture, how can Christians respond to persecution locally or elsewhere in the world?

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