Jesus closes His beatitudes with a double blessing: “Blessed . . . blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness” (see Matthew 5:10-11). The world loves people who are easygoing, flexible, not too caught up on Truth or conviction. Society says, “Happy are those who live and let live, who mimic the culture and its values.” Yet, Jesus ascribes happiness to those who are persecuted for His name.

Jesus was persecuted because He spoke the Truth, lived the Truth, and was willing to die for the Truth. And as we claim Jesus as the way, the Truth, and the life, we can expect the same (see John 15:18-21). Now, there are some who want to claim persecution for being offensive and unkind; Jesus does not promise them blessing. Rather, living righteously like Jesus is naturally offensive. Why? Because it reminds people of their wickedness.

When you suffer because you are distinguished from the world, be glad! When you are attacked for the sake of Christ or targeted because of His righteousness in you, rejoice! Be glad because they are treating you as they treated our Savior. Rejoice because your inheritance in heaven is great—greater than you could ever hope for or imagine.

Prayer: Jesus, thank You that You are always with me—that in any circumstance I can rejoice because You are faithful. I rest in Your promises, in the hope of glory I have by Your blood. May I bring You honor as I persevere in faith, hope, and love by the power of Your Spirit at work in me. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

“Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:10).

Check out more from Dr. Michael Youssef, here!

About The Author

Dr. Michael Youssef, Ph.D.

Even before he was born, it is clear that God had a vision for Michael Youssef. His mother was in poor health when she became pregnant with Michael, and because his life was in danger at the time of birth, the doctor recommended terminating the pregnancy. An abortion was scheduled. But God intervened and sent the family pastor to reassure them that God was involved in this pregnancy. He told them not to be afraid and that the child would be "born to serve the Lord." Michael's parents accepted the pastor's message as a message from God and obeyed. His mother gave birth, and lived to see him give his life to the Lord at the age of sixteen.

Believing that God had called him out of Egypt, Michael sought an exit visa in a time in which no university student was allowed to have a passport or leave the country. God intervened again, and miraculously he managed to acquire a visa. He immigrated to Australia, where he studied at Moore Theological College in Sydney, was ordained as a pastor, and met Elizabeth who became his wife.

The Youssefs came to America in 1977, and in 1978 Michael received a master's degree in theology at Fuller Theological Seminary in California. Then he earned a doctorate in social anthropology at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Michael served nearly ten years in the Haggai Institute, traveling around the world more than 32 times, teaching courses in evangelism and leadership. He rose to the position of Managing Director at the age of 31 years. The family settled in Atlanta, and in 1984, Michael became a citizen of the United States, making his dream of many years come true.

He founded The Church of The Apostles in 1987 with fewer than 40 adults with the mission of "Equipping the Saints and Searching for the Lost". The church has since grown to be a congregation of over 3,000 people today. This church has driven the international ministry of Leading the Way. While it is heard by millions at home and abroad, behind every message preached through radio waves, is the heart of a pastor, willing to nurture and care for these people. Clearly God has uniquely equipped Dr. Youssef to speak to a global audience. The path he has taken has given him an understanding and firm grasp of the Scriptures that transcend cultures. He preaches, teaches and calls with a sincere, based on the authority of the inerrant, inspired Word of God. With his personal knowledge of the Holy Land, its history and culture, Dr. Michael Youssef transmits life to listeners all over the world.

Email Sign-up

Sign up for the TWR360 Newsletter

Access updates, news, Biblical teaching and inspirational messages from powerful Christian voices.

Thank you for signing up to receive updates from TWR360.

Required information missing