Persecution is not a popular or pleasant subject to talk about. Nevertheless, Scripture speaks of the inevitable fact of persecution for any and all who choose to live godly in Christ Jesus. In His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus talked about persecution this way: ‘Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.’
Please note beloved that the cause of the blessedness is not the physical or emotional pain associated with the persecution, but because there is a great reward awaiting us in heaven. One of the two churches who were commended by Jesus in Revelation 2 & 3 was the persecuted church of Smyrna.
Beloved, there is a cost to follow Jesus. That is the way it has always been. Persecution occurs in different places and in different ways. It may be physical. It may be financial. It may be relational. It may be blunt and it may be subtle. The church of Jesus Christ will be a church that faces persecution wherever they live, regardless of the age or culture. Why? Because fallen man lives in darkness and loves darkness.
May God grant us the grace to be faithful to Him in these perilous times for the glory of God.