For the enemy has persecuted my soul; - Psalm 143:3 nasb
Persecution comes from the Devil, not people. It comes through people, not from people. This is how Jesus, while He was being crucified, was able to say, “Forgive them for they know not what they do.” Because He knows it is the Devil who persecutes.
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. – Ephesians 6:12
We live in a lost world. We live in a world that is ruled by an anti-Christ spirit. We live in a dark world. And, if we live in a dark world, then the darkness will persecute the light. If we live in a world that is against Christ, then we who are in Christ won’t fit in and we will be persecuted.
Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. – John 3:19 18
"If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. 19If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. 20Remember the words I spoke to you: 'No servant is greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. 21They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the One who sent me.” - John 15:18-21Jesus tells us, “If they persecuted me, they will persecute you." There are people who believe that if they love the world enough; if they do enough good things for people; they will be loved. But, you just can’t love people enough for them to love you back. Jesus is perfect love. He loved the world in word and in deed. He healed, He comforted, He forgave, He even made water into wine, but the world still crucified Him.
In fact, the more loving you are, the more Satan hates you and the more you will be persecuted.
Why do we get persecuted? Because of righteousness; because of our relationship with Christ; because we live for Him; because we bring Him into our lives and into the lives of others. Being persecuted because you tell a bad joke or because you don’t shower doesn’t count. Jesus is talking about the persecution that comes because He is evident in our lives. This is what the Devil hates and this is what He fights against.