“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness, because the kingdom of heaven is theirs.” (Matthew 5:10)
There is nothing particularly joyous about persecution itself. Persecution is painful, hurtful, and destructive. There is not necessarily any spiritual prosperity in that. Ask any Christian who was beaten and imprisoned if that experience, in and of itself, created a joyous blessing for them, and you will likely see a grimace come to their face. So, if this is the case, how is persecution related to spiritual prosperity?
Jesus ties this to the cause of persecution. He ties it to the cause of righteousness, and He then elaborates in verses 11 and 12, “Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and false say every kind of evil against you because of Me. Be glad and rejoice, because your reward is great in heaven. For that is how they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
Persecution experienced because of committed faithfulness and obedience to Jesus produces blessing, spiritual joyous prosperity, because Jesus blesses it, and it brings with it a heavenly reward. That reward will only become evident when those persecuted arrive in heaven. Those thus persecuted rejoice NOT because of the persecution but because of the outcomes.
Lord, Persecution is no one’s preference, but if that is what we must go through in order to be faithful in our witness to You, give us the strength to do so. Amen.