Blessed are those who are persecuted
Matthew 5:10–12 (ASV)
10Blessed are they that have been persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11Blessed are ye when men shall reproach you, and persecute you, and say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. 12Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets that were before you.
Luke 6:22–23 (ASV)
22Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake. 23Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy: for behold, your reward is great in heaven; for in the same manner did their fathers unto the prophets.
When Esther Ahmad's mother learned her daughter had become a Christian, she physically attacked her. But God's promise brought comfort and helped Esther to "rejoice and be exceedingly glad."
Hearts of Fire, Eight Women in the Underground Church and Their Stories of Costly Faith by Voice of the Martyrs
Purnima was falsely charged and sentenced to three years in prison because she was a Christian. But the Lord used this beatitude to comfort her and her fellow believers to the point that they could rejoice and be glad.
Two Pakistani politicians—Governor Salman Taseer and Federal Minister of Minorities Shahbaz Bhatti were both assassinated for standing up for their faith and for Asia Bibi; a Christian who was unfairly imprisoned by the Pakistani authorities. These men knew the blessings of persecution and were not afraid to lay their lives for the sake of the gospel of Christ!
Zhang Rongliang rejoices that he is in prison for the name of Jesus.
Charles Colson was falsely accused of involvement in a murder plot, but found solace in the teachings of Jesus.
Brother Andrew helped a community of Christians, devastated by a Muslim riot, to forgive their persecutors by reminding them of the teachings of Jesus about the blessedness of persecution.
Fifteen year old girl stands firm in her resolve to honor only Jesus, and pays the price.
Three young native women who had given their lives to Christ were kidnapped by a Mau Mau group. They were offered the rites of initiation into this cult however they rejected it at the detriment of their lives. They died for their faith in Jesus. “O blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.”
North Korean Christians in the early 20th century rejoiced to share in Christ's persecutions. Story after wonderful story tell of spiritual fruit worthy of the apostles of old.