“Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude you, revile you, and defame you on account of the Son of Man” (Luke 6:22).
The persecution of Christians around the world seems to be increasing, but we should never forget that Christians have suffered persecution ever since Jesus’ disciples began to do and teach what He taught them. Jesus foretold at least four ways that His followers would suffer on earth, and the fact that they have so suffered for centuries is additional proof of Jesus’ prophetic ability as the Son of Man, the promised Messiah, the Son of God. The hatred of Christians has led to a variety of ways to persecute them. Some Christians have only been excluded from the benefits others enjoy in society or at work. Other Christians have been reviled and defamed in such a way that those who believe the lies they have been told have come to hate, exclude, and persecute them too. True Christians have a personality that the Holy Spirit transforms; so, whether these Christians ever mention the name of Jesus or not, some will recognize that they are different from the world and they will bully or persecute them for being different.
Despite this world’s persecution of Christians, Jesus declared that those who follow Him will be blessed, and those who suffer for His name’s sake can rejoice and leap for joy. Why should Christians be so happy while suffering persecution? Because they know that Christians have always suffered for their faith in Jesus and their reward is great in heaven. Someday, they will see Jesus face-to-face and receive the fullness of His perfect peace and love for them. They know they will spend eternity with all those who love God the Father and Jesus. They know they will never be troubled again by those who hate God and Jesus’ followers.