Blessed are those who are persecuted? Yeah, I know, there's more to the sentence, but just that opened of this Beatitude sounds so strange to my ears. Nonetheless, this is what Jesus says to those who are listening. "You are blessed when you are persecuted unfairly-- when you're doing the right thing." And why? "Because theirs is the kingdom of heaven."
Jesus presents hope to those who are suffering, reminding us that, because we have taken Jesus up on His invitation to life on His terms, we now get God with us and all the promises that come with Him.
Even when we're in the midst of the greatest struggles, it's helpful to remember that...
Come what may, God's got His.