Read Matthew 5:9-12
Jesus went on a mountainside with disciples to instruct them when he saw the crowds. What he taught them the masses were likely unwilling to accept. The Beatitudes are not for the spiritually immature but they should be the standard for all true disciples of Jesus.
Some people are simply difficult to get along with. There are people who constantly antagonize and do everything they can to push someone’s buttons. And once they’ve found something, they’ll keep hitting on it. It would be easy to react harshly to an antagonist and to give them whatever they deserve. God’s kingdom is a kingdom of peace however. We should seek out peace whenever it can be found.
This does not mean we are to be pacifists in an anti-war sense however. It is clear from scripture that there will be war on this earth until the Prince of Peace returns. There are things that are worth fighting for and standing up for – these things are God’s principles. We should not seek out conflict but neither should we be fearful of it when it is unavoidable and we fight only for God’s commands to be upheld.
Those who are persecuted
Persecution can take place in many various forms. We can be persecuted because of our race, gender, age, or many other things. Blessing does not come from being persecuted in such ways (although if we try to be peacemakers in such situations we will be blessed). Rather blessing comes from when we are persecuted for the cause of Christ.
As Christians, we are different. We should know we’re different and we should act differently. This will mean that some people will not like what we do or say. Because of this we may be looked down upon. In some areas of the world Christians may fear for their lives because of their beliefs.
Those who are persecuted are granted the same blessing as those who are poor in spirit. The persecuted are and bankrupt in the eyes of world and are not worth anything, so they are kicked to the curb and out of the way.
Those who are insulted
There is little difference between insult and persecution. In fact insults may be considered a form of persecution. Paul tells us to be ever rejoicing. The disciples would remember the words of Jesus as they are arrested and thrown in jail and beaten. Despite the pain and humiliation they suffer, they are able to sing praises to God.
Jesus warns that no servant is greater than his master. If Jesus was persecuted and the prophets before him were persecuted, what should we expect? Nevertheless, that puts us in pretty good company as well.
Satan has no interest in persecuting a wayward and lukewarm Christian. After all, some persecution may cause them to be strengthened in their faith as they turn to God for help. He will do all he can to distract and frustrate the mature believer however and discourage them from following God. There’s a joke that says “Whenever everything is coming your way, you’re in the wrong lane.” When Satan tries to discourage and persecute us, we should praise God that we’re considered enough of a threat to the Devil’s agenda that he would bother with us. We don’t need to worry about Satan because we know who is really in control and who will not let us have more than we can handle.