Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven
Jesus says another startling thing in this last beatitude. He states that you will be blessed if you have stood up for what is right to the point that you are persecuted for it. This sounds amazing doesn’t it? It sounds backward and untrue. Yet Jesus has told us that there is a level of blessing, spiritual happiness, and favor from God that comes to the person who has been willing to stand up for the right action even to the point of persecution.
persecution: This is the Greek word dioko, which means persecute, follow after, suffer persecution, to make to flee, to put to flight, to drive away. Have you stood your ground on something that was clearly right even though it may have been unpopular or even hated? If you have, then you are blessed. It is important to note that the Beatitudes are true, but they are built on a completely different value structure than the selfish, arrogant, fame-seeking world system. Blessings, spiritual happiness, and satisfaction with life are gained from completely different actions than what our world system directs us to do.
Our world system directs us to seek pleasure or power or fame or money. But each of those are dead ends if they are not accompanied by deep relationships with God and others. It is the relationships that give the trappings of life meaning and joy. We often miss this in our headlong rush to have what seems like the right goal.
Realize that there will be times when you must stand up for what is really right and forgo the immediate acquisition of pleasure, power, fame, or money; but it will be worth it. Usually standing for righteousness protects a relationship or a person. Sometimes your reward will not come until the next life because the ingrained value structure of the people around you will not allow them to embrace the true right actions.
righteousness: This is the Greek word dikaiosune, which means righteous, virtuous, purity of life.
There will be times when you are called upon to do the right thing, and it will be time to step up to the plate. May God grant you the grace and may you embrace that grace and do it.
* This material is copyrighted © by Gil Stieglitz who retains all rights to the material. The verses quoted are taken from the NASB Bible 1995 edition.