Matthew 5:10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

Luke 6:22 Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake.

Luke 12:4 And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do.

5 But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.

John 15:18 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.

19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.

John 16:2 They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.

I Peter 4:14 If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.

15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters.


MEMORY VERSE: Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.

—I Peter 4:16


CENTRAL THOUGHT: The truly happy and blessed person who is lowly, meek, and merciful, because he has the power and glory of the kingdom of heaven within, will be able to rejoice even in the time of persecution and suffering for the kingdom’s sake.




Matthew 5:11 “Revile” and I Peter 4:14 “Reproached”: defame; rail at; chide; taunt; mock; insult; cast blame. “Persecute”: put to flight; pursue; aggressively chase; hunt down.




“Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience” (James 5:10). “For so persecuted they the prophets…” (Matthew 5:12). The children of Israel were greatly afflicted by the Egyptians; David was hunted and nearly killed by Saul; Abel was killed by his own brother, Cain, because his works were righteous. As David wrote, “The wicked watcheth the righteous, and seeketh to slay him” (Psalm 37:32).

We can read of Zechariah (2 Chronicles 24:21), Elijah and the other prophets in the time of Ahab (I Kings 18:4), Jeremiah (Jeremiah 11:21), Isaiah (said to have been killed by Manasseh), Daniel, and “others” (Hebrews 11:36-38), who were either censored, forbidden to prophesy, struck in the face, thrown to the lions, imprisoned, tortured or killed. The patient endurance, meekness, trust in God, courage and the solid integrity of these men of God speaks volumes both of the power and grace of God.

—Sis. Angela Gellenbeck




1. The Brotherhood of Sufferers: Share stories of martyrs which challenge you and give you courage.

2. Attitude: How do the Beatitudes give the suffering Christian grace and fortitude?




Jesus spoke of the world loving its own. The child of God who can rejoice in persecution does so because he or she is persuaded of this truth: I am not of the world. My true citizenship is in heaven. I can’t expect to be honored, loved, accepted, or “fit in” here.

There are other great scriptural truths that true Christians embrace which give them the amazing fortitude to endure persecution. One is the vision that they have of Christ; as pure in heart, they see God. They see Him who is invisible (Hebrews 11:27). They also know and see that immortal, invisible heavenly reward. They can suffer loss of goods and property because they know they “have in heaven a better and an enduring substance” (Hebrews 10:34). They possess the kingdom!

Another truth which gives them courage is that there is more to life than this life. This is not the end. They love “not their lives unto the death” (Revelation 12:11). They don’t count their lives “dear” (Acts 20:24). They believe that after their enemies kill them, there is “no more that they can do” (Luke 12:4), and not a hair of their head really perishes! (Luke 21:18).

Persecuted saints also strongly identify with Christ in His sufferings and rejoice to be counted worthy to suffer with Him; to lay down their lives for the One Who died for them. There is also an identity with the brotherhood—worldwide and reaching back through history—of saints who gave their backs and their lives for this gospel. “Knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world” (I Peter 5:9).

Thinking back into the qualifications and promises in the Beatitudes—can we see how they fill the disciple of Christ with unconquerable courage and amazing endurance in the face of torture, imprisonment and death? Dear Heavenly Father, imprint these on our hearts!

—Sis. Angela Gellenbeck




We read in 1 Peter 2:19-20, “For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? But if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God.”

Doing what is acceptable to God can bring persecutions in our life, especially when we have religious convictions. When I was about ten years old I came home from school one day and found that my mother had been crying. The pastor and his wife had just left so I kind of knew it was something to do with the church we had stopped going to because of so much confusion. This pastor strongly believed in pastoral authority and everyone had to toe the line. When someone would try to speak up about some things going on, he would say from the pulpit, “Shut your mouth!” Only the Lord and my dear mother knew about the many things going on. When several of the congregation left, my mom was one of them and she never went back. The sheep were scattered—some mortally wounded; some would wander from place to place for years.

You may have gone to a church with your family and friends for years, but you just can’t keep going against your conscience any more. You have seen the light. My dear friend, you are in for some industrial-grade persecutions. Be strong and take courage. Just remember James 3:16. “For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.” God’s ways will bring us peace. Persecution from without is tolerable because we know our enemy. Persecution from within, like David went through in Psalms 55:12-13, will cause us to almost slip. Through it all, let us remember one thing about persecution, and I quote this from Matthew Henry: “It is not the suffering, but the cause that makes the martyr.”

We pray for everyone going through this type of persecution that you will be comforted today. Amen.

—Bro. James Bell