I’ll be honest with you - the final beatitude deals with a subject that I don’t like to think about because I had to experience it growing up. In America people talk about persecution and how good it is for the growth of the church and develops holiness and purity. Ironically, those who go through to it don’t talk about how wonderful it is. In fact, they do whatever they can to avoid it and fight against it. Persecution is the final beatitude for a reason. It is not something that we should look forward to. It is something we should do all we can to avoid, prolong, and work against. It is not something that God gives an extra something for. If you notice, the reward of persecution is no different than the one for the first beatitude - 3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Unfortunately, it is a subject that we in America are having to face in a small degree. The response is not to brace ourselves and prepare for the worst. We need to strive to maintain and increase the presence of Christianity and biblical values in our country and beyond.