Persecution and Suffering of Christians
If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the Word that I said to you, “A servant is not greater than his master.” If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My Word, they will keep yours also. But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me.
Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.
(2 Timothy 3:12)
For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake.
For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps.
(1 Peter 2:21)
Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.
(1 Peter 4:12, 13)
An honest evaluation of Scripture clearly reveals that Christians who live in accordance with the Word of God in this life will indeed suffer and be persecuted for their devotion to Jesus Christ. This concept certainly does not conform to religious organizations who consistently promote over various social media outlets what has become known as the “prosperity gospel,” a teaching that God wants Christians to be wealthy, healthy, and happy all the time. But then when one realizes that the foundation of their teaching most often rests upon the “planting of seed” – a financial offering to their particular organization – the act that they assure will release God’s favor, one may then understand the non-spiritual source of their message. Even among more biblically orthodox Christians there is an unspoken idea that God somehow promises to protect them from suffering.
The Normalcy of Suffering in the World
Most people across the globe recognize that suffering is normal in this fallen world. The Bible reveals the beginning of suffering on earth. Indeed, such was the promise of God once man chose to believe Satan’s lie in the Garden of Eden and subsequently violate God’s specific instruction pertaining to the “tree of knowledge of good and evil” (Genesis 2:16, 17). Because of the rebellion of Adam and Eve against God, the physical world itself became subject to corruption and continuous decay (Genesis 3:1-19; Romans 8:18–22).
As a result, material hardships, disease and natural disasters happen to everyone. Even though modern science and technology may provide shielding from some of the consequences of this corruption and decay, it cannot eliminate them entirely. Hurricanes, tornados, and earthquakes occur all over the world without discriminating between Christians and non-Christians, and man is completely powerless to stop them.
Humans can now cure or prevent many diseases, but that doesn’t stop both Christians and non-Christians from developing cancer or having heart attacks. The sinfulness of men and women adds human violence and oppression to this dark picture, so that crime, war, and oppression are also part of life everywhere on earth. Eventually, all of mankind will die – sometimes slowly and painfully – as a result of the rebellion of the first parents.
Although God may protect Christians from many of the consequences of this fallen world, He does not promise that He will protect His children from physical injury or illness. Furthermore, He allows all of mankind to die. This kind of suffering is a normal part of life in this fractured world.
God’s Promise of Suffering
For followers of Jesus, however, the picture is even more sobering. The Bible actually promises persecution and suffering for their faith. The world is in rebellion against God. It hates God, and when God came in the Person of Jesus Christ, the world responded by resenting, by mocking, by torturing, and by murdering Him. Jesus promised His followers that the world would hate and treat them the way it hated and treated Him (John 15:18-21 [Matthew 10:18-22; 24:9; John 16:2, 3]). This hatred and degenerative treatment stems directly from Satan, the “god of this age” (2 Corinthians 4:4) who “walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8).
The first followers of Jesus consistently experienced suffering in Jerusalem (Acts 5:41; 8:1), Galatia (Galatians 3:4), Philippi (Philippians 1:29, 30 ), Thessalonica (1 Thessalonians 2:14; 17:13), and Asia Minor (1 Peter 4:12, 13), along with the recipients of the letter to the Hebrews (Hebrews 10:32). Paul experienced continuous suffering and opposition (2 Corinthians 11:23-29), as did the other apostles (Acts 5-8). Paul was explicit in saying this was to be expected by everyone who follows Christ (2 Timothy 3:12 [Acts 14:22; 1 Thessalonians 3:3]).
The comfortable experience of Christians in the West has actually been an anomaly in this regard. Because of the Christian heritage of Western civilization, combined with democratic freedoms and the historic rule of law, Western Christians have largely been left alone for their faith. Even today, as Western nations become increasingly post-Christian (and even anti-Christian), the opposition experienced by many Christians goes little beyond mockery.
However, there are signs that this protected status may be changing. If it continues to do so, it will simply put Western Christians in the same boat as their brothers and sisters all over the world. Today, in Islamic, Hindu, and Communist parts of the world, being a follower of Jesus means, at best, losing your job and being rejected by your family. At worst, it means imprisonment, beating, and death. These things are being experienced all over the world right now by many of the children of Jesus Christ.
The Critical Factor
Even in light of Christ’s promise of suffering and persecution, one cannot ignore the fact that not all Christians experience the same spiritual opposition within every given environment. While some indeed face fierce disapproval and hostility, some appear to go unopposed. Why is this so?
There is one specific, yea critical factor described by Christ and revealed throughout God’s Word that answers this question, which is revealed in the following passages of Scripture.
Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’s enemies will be those of his own household. He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it. (Matthew 10:34-39)
Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matthew 16:24-26)
These passages speak of a degree of dedication that belongs to Christians who progress beyond that which is the case during the initial state of salvation, the position of an immature (baby) child of God (1 Corinthians 3:1-3) – the initial state applicable to all who place their faith in Christ for their eternal salvation. Scripture clearly points out that this adolescent (young, undeveloped, juvenile) spiritual state must be abandoned as soon as possible in order that the Christian may obtain another, a more advanced aspect of the salvation experience.
In other words, the subject of salvation incorporates all three aspects (components) of the human configuration, which are the spirit, the soul, and the body (1 Thessalonians 5:23; Hebrews 4:12). The initial decision that a person makes to place faith in Christ for his/her salvation (John 3:16; Acts 16:30, 31; Ephesians 2:8, 9) secures the guarantee of eternal life (Ephesians 1:13, 14; 2 Corinthians 1:22; 5:5), also described as spirit-salvation in God’s Word and which insures one’s non-revocable (by God or man) eternal state in the ages to come.
But prior to these eternal ages, one needs to address the coming Millennial Age (1,000 years of the rule by Christ and His bride [overcomers from within the Church] over the earth [Revelation 19:7, 8; 20:4]) that will take place subsequent to the coming Rapture and judgment of Christians at Christ’s Judgment Seat (1 Thessalonians 4:13-17; 2 Corinthians 5:10).
This involves and is addressed in Scripture as soul-salvation, a salvation that even though is empowered by faith (Colossians 2:6; Hebrews 11), it is obtained through righteous works (1 Corinthians 3:11-15; Revelation 19:8). And though it has nothing to do with a Christian’s assured eternal state, it does encompass a Christian’s participation as part of the Bride of Christ during the coming Millennial Era.
(The author of this article is well aware that the above two paragraphs may be misunderstood, particularly by those who strongly advocate the issue of free grace relevant to the issue of salvation. He can only assure them that there is no violation in this matter. For a more comprehensive understanding of the complete concept of salvation expressed throughout Scripture, it is suggested that one access the study by Arlen L. Chitwood entitled Salvation of the Soul, which may be obtained by clicking on the following link: http://bibleone.net/SOS.htm.)
To put it in a more succinct manner, persecution and suffering as a result of one’s fellowship with and following of Jesus Christ will most likely only come when one truly fellowships with and steadfastly follows Jesus Christ. Assuredly, this state of being, i.e., the salvation of one’s soul, can only be derived when the child of God adheres to the following cogent advice:
Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow (abundance) of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted Word, which is able to save your souls (James 1:21).
To properly follow Christ involves much more than simply attending a weekly religious service in what is now recognized as a “local church” with the belief that such participation fulfills one’s responsibility to God. True Christianity is a 24 hour a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year commitment to the Living Word of God (John 1:1, 2, 14) as is expressly revealed in the written Word of God – “the implanted Word, which is able to save your souls.”
This being the case, Christians may be assured that the only way one may progress from spiritual immaturity to maturity, to a position that honors their Lord and Savior, Jesus the Christ, is by a concerted effort to study, absorb, and live out God’s Word. This can only be the result of an individual’s personal effort, executed both within and without one’s local Christian assembly, be it a local church, study group, or one-on-one discussion.
And when such takes place, when one’s spirituality exceeds that of a “babe in Christ” to a position of “maturity,” the salvation of one’s soul – one who is totally devoted to Jesus Christ throughout his entire life both in and outside of one’s local church – one may be assured of persecution and suffering, which can emanate both within and without one’s family and social (secular) endeavors.
The Coming Benefit
Although a Christian will be subject to various degrees of persecution and suffering for true devotion to Jesus Christ during this lifetime, such cannot be compared with the coming benefit for a life of righteous commitment to Christ.
And if children, then heirs – heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. (Romans 8:17, 18; cf. 2 Corinthians 1:7; 2 Timothy 2:12; 1 Peter 4:13; 5:1)
Various Relevant Passages of Scripture for Further Consideration
Matthew 5:11, 12 (Luke 6:22, 23)
Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. (12) Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Matthew 5:43-45 (Luke 6:27, 35; Acts 7:60; Romans 12:14, 20; 1 Peter 2:23; 3:9)
You have heard that it was said, “You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.” (44) But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, (45) that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
Matthew 10:17, 18, 21-23, 34-36 (16: 24-27; 24:9; Mark 13:9; Luke 21:12; John 15:20; 16:2; Acts 7:9; 12:1)
But beware of men, for they will deliver you up to councils and scourge you in their synagogues. (18) You will be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles. . . . (21) Now brother will deliver up brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death. (22) And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved. (23) When they persecute you in this city, flee to another. For assuredly, I say to you, you will not have gone through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes. . . . (34) Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. (35) For I have come to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; (36) and a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.
Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake.
But watch out for yourselves, for they will deliver you up to councils, and you will be beaten in the synagogues. You will be brought before rulers and kings for My sake, for a testimony to them.
Luke 6:22, 23, 27-29
Blessed are you when men hate you, and when they exclude you, and revile you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of Man’s sake. (23) Rejoice in that day and leap for joy! For indeed your reward is great in heaven, for in like manner their fathers did to the prophets. . . . (27) But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, (28) bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you. (29) To him who strikes you on the one cheek, offer the other also. And from him who takes away your cloak, do not withhold your tunic either.
But before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons. You will be brought before kings and rulers for My name’s sake.
John 15:18-21 (Matthew 10:24; Luke 6:40; John 13:16; 17:14; 1 John 3:13)
If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. (19) If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. (20) Remember the word that I said to you, “A servant is not greater than his master.” If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My Word, they will keep yours also. (21) But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me.
John 16:2, 3
They will put you out of the synagogues; yes, the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service. (3) And these things they will do to you because they have not known the Father nor Me.
John 17:14 (Matthew 10:24; Luke 6:40; John 13:16; 15:18, 19; 1 John 3:13)
I have given them Your Word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.
So they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name.
Acts 7:59, 60 (Matthew 5:44; Luke 6:28)
And they stoned Stephen as he was calling on God and saying, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” (60) Then he knelt down and cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not charge them with this sin.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep.
Acts 8:1, 3
Now Saul was consenting to his death. At that time a great persecution arose against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles. . . . (3) As for Saul, he made havoc of the church, entering every house, and dragging off men and women, committing them to prison.
Acts 9:1, 16, 23
Then Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest. . . . (16) For I [Christ] will show him [Paul] how many things he must suffer for My name’s sake. . . . (23) Now after many days were past, the Jews plotted to kill him.
Now about that time Herod the king stretched out his hand to harass some from the church. (2) Then he killed James the brother of John with the sword. (3) And because he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to seize Peter also. Now it was during the Days of Unleavened Bread. (4) So when he had arrested him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four squads of soldiers to keep him, intending to bring him before the people after Passover.
But the Jews stirred up the devout and prominent women and the chief men of the city, raised up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them from their region.
Acts 14:5, 22
And when a violent attempt was made by both the Gentiles and Jews, with their rulers, to abuse and stone them . . . (22) Strengthening the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and saying, “We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God.”
But the Jews who were not persuaded, becoming envious, took some of the evil men from the marketplace, and gathering a mob, set all the city in an uproar and attacked the house of Jason, and sought to bring them out to the people.
Acts 21:30, 31
And all the city was disturbed; and the people ran together, seized Paul, and dragged him out of the temple; and immediately the doors were shut. (31) Now as they were seeking to kill him, news came to the commander of the garrison that all Jerusalem was in an uproar.
I persecuted this Way to the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women.
Now when there arose a great dissension, the commander, fearing lest Paul might be pulled to pieces by them, commanded the soldiers to go down and take him by force from among them, and bring him into the barracks.
Acts 25:2, 3
Then the high priest and the chief men of the Jews informed him against Paul; and they petitioned him, (3) asking a favor against him, that he would summon him to Jerusalem – while they lay in ambush along the road to kill him.
Indeed, I [Paul] myself thought I must do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth. (10) This I also did in Jerusalem, and many of the saints I shut up in prison, having received authority from the chief priests; and when they were put to death, I cast my vote against them. (11) And I punished them often in every synagogue and compelled them to blaspheme; and being exceedingly enraged against them, I persecuted them even to foreign cities.
Romans 5:3, 4
And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance. (4) and perseverance, character; and character, hope.
Romans 8:16-18 (2 Corinthians 4:17, 18; 2 Timothy 2:12; 1 Peter 1:6, 7; 4:13)
The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, (17) and if children, then heirs – heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. (18) For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
Romans 12:14, 17
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. . . . (17) Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men.
1 Corinthians 4:11-14
To the present hour we both hunger and thirst, and we are poorly clothed, and beaten, and homeless. (12) And we labor, working with our own hands. Being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we endure; (13) being defamed, we entreat. We have been made as the filth of the world, the offscouring [off-scraping] of all things until now. (14) I do not write these things to shame you, but as my beloved children I warn you.
2 Corinthians 1:3-7
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, (4) who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. (5) For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ. (6) Now if we are afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effective for enduring the same sufferings which we also suffer. Or if we are comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation. (7) And our hope for you is steadfast, because we know that as you are partakers of the sufferings, so also you will partake of the consolation.
2 Corinthians 4:8-10, 17
We are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; (9) persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed – (10) always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. . . . (17) For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.
2 Corinthians 6:4, 5, 9
But in all things we commend ourselves as ministers of God: in much patience, in tribulations, in needs, in distresses, (5) in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in sleeplessness, in fastings . . . (9) as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold we live; as chastened, and yet not killed.
2 Corinthians 7:4, 5
Great is my boldness of speech toward you, great is my boasting on your behalf. I am filled with comfort. I am exceedingly joyful in all our tribulation. (5) For indeed, when we came to Macedonia, our bodies had no rest, but we were troubled on every side. Outside were conflicts, inside were fears.
2 Corinthians 11:23-28
Are they ministers of Christ? – I speak as a fool – I am more: in labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequently, in deaths often. (24) From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one. (25) Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep; (26) in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; (27) in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness – (28) besides the other things, what comes upon me daily: my deep concern for all the churches.
2 Corinthians 12:10
Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Galatians 1:13 (Acts 8:3; 9:1; 22:4; 26:11; 1 Timothy 1:13)
For you have heard of my former conduct in Judaism, how I persecuted the Church of God beyond measure and tried to destroy it.
Have you suffered so many things in vain – if indeed it was in vain?
Therefore I ask that you do not lose heart at my tribulations for you, which is your glory.
Philippians 1:29, 30
For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake, (30) having the same conflict which you saw in me and now hear is in me.
Philippians 3:8, 10
Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ . . . (10) that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death.
I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.
I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ, for the sake of His body, which is the Church.
1 Thessalonians 2:2, 14, 15
But even after we had suffered before and were spitefully treated at Philippi, as you know, we were bold in our God to speak to you the gospel of God in much conflict. . . . (14) For you, brethren, became imitators of the churches of God which are in Judea in Christ Jesus. For you also suffered the same things from your own countrymen, just as they did from the Judeans, (15) who killed both the Lord Jesus and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they do not please God and are contrary to all men.
1 Thessalonians 3:1, 3
Therefore, when we could no longer endure it, we thought it good to be left in Athens alone . . .
That no one should be shaken by these afflictions; for you yourselves know that we are appointed to this.
1 Timothy 4:10
For to this end we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe.
2 Timothy 1:8, 12
Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God. . . . (12) For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.
2 Timothy 2:11, 12 (Romans 8:17; 2 Corinthians 4:17, 18; 1 Peter 4:13)
This is a faithful saying: for if we died with Him, we shall also live with Him. (12) If we endure, we shall also reign with Him. If we deny Him, He also will deny us.
2 Timothy 3:10-12
But you have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance, (11) persecutions, afflictions, which happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra – what persecutions I endured. And out of them all the Lord delivered me. (12) Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.
2 Timothy 4:5
But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.
But recall the former days in which, after you were illuminated, you endured a great struggle with sufferings: (33) partly while you were made a spectacle both by reproaches and tribulations, and partly while you became companions of those who were so treated; (34) for you had compassion on me in my chains, and joyfully accepted the plundering of your goods, knowing that you have a better and an enduring possession for yourselves in heaven.
James 1:2, 3, 12
My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, (3) knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. . . . (12) Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.
1 Peter 1:6, 7
In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, (7) that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
1 Peter 2:12, 19-21 (1 Thessalonians 3:3; 2 Timothy 3:12; 1 John 2:6)
Having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation. . . . (19) For this is commendable, if because of conscience toward God one endures grief, suffering wrongfully. (20) For what credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently? But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God. (21) For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps.
1 Peter 3:14, 16
But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you are blessed. And do not be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled. . . . (16) having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed.
1 Peter 4:12-16, 19
Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; (13) but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. (14) If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified. (15) But let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or as a busybody in other people’s matters. (16) Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter. . . . (19) Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator.
1 Peter 5:8-10 (Ephesians 6:11; James 4:7)
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. (9) Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. (10) But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.
1 John 3:13 (Matthew 10:24; Luke 6:40; John 13:16; 15:18, 19; 17:14; 1 John 3:13)
Do not marvel, my brethren, if the world hates you.
I, John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was on the island that is called Patmos for the Word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.