October 2 – The Identity of Persecution

“Blessed are you when men hate you, and ostracize you, and insult you, and scorn your name as evil, for the sake of the Son of Man.” – Luke 6:18 (NASB)

Persecution comes from many sources and for many reasons. It’s easy to feel persecuted. It’s more difficult to identify real persecution when it is happening to you. We may feel picked on, or demeaned without experiencing persecution for our faith. The unbelieving world is turning up the heat on believers with increased efforts to cancel, cause injury, grief, or suffering because of one’s Christian testimony. We too swiftly wrongly classify an unpleasant encounter unwelcome regulation as persecution. “The words of Jesus here embody a prophecy. They describe what’s going to happen to followers of Jesus after his departure from this earth. However, it’s not at all necessary to limit this  entirely to the future. Right at this very moment, while the Master is still with his disciples, this hatred is already manifesting itself.”[1] One essential element to understand persecution. Persecution is identified as when evil is spoken or acted against a Christian falsely for Christ’s sake or in His name. Persecution per se is not something to be sought but true persecution of believers happens it carries with it the blessing of God.

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[1] William Hendriksen and Simon J. Kistemaker, Exposition of the Gospel According to Luke, New Testament Commentary, (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1953–2001), 11:342.