You, however, know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance, persecutions, sufferings—what kinds of things happened to me in Antioch, Iconium and Lystra, the persecutions I endured. Yet the Lord rescued me from all of them. In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evildoers and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.
2 Timothy 3:10-13 NIV
My pastor in Maryland was once accused of some vile things by a former church member, and IIRC it made the local news. The Sunday after, I saw him walking in the hallway at church. Making eye contact, I called out, “Congratulations!”
He stopped dead in his tracks. Turning, with puzzled look on his face, he asked, “Why?”
I replied, “The Bible says the Godly will suffer persecution. You’re obviously doing something right!”
He laughed, then pivoted to continue walking down the hall. I had turned his frown upside down!
Persecution is part of our sentence here on this sin-infested planet. I’m getting to the point that I’m concerned if too many people like me. I’m the salt of the earth. When some sinners meet me, it should be like they took a big bite out of an apple, only to discover the apple is made of salt when they tried to chew it. Some people should become very aware, when they meet me, that I serve God and they don’t. Lord, more boldness!
Trials are to be a joy! They’re a necessary part of growth.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
James 1:2-4 NIV
We develop the champion’s attitude: Hahaha, devil, there is absolutely nothing you can do to me to make me quit! If you kill me, all you’re doing is setting me free! Hahaha! The facts are, God is in charge, I belong to Him, and you are a conquered looooser soon to be swimming in the lake of fire – forever! Hahahaha! Let God arise and you and yours be scattered! Hahaha!
What about being squished to death or having my head cut off because I follow Jesus? Here’s what I wrote in another post:
“Should I be called upon to be a contestant in a round of You Bet Your Life – Eternal Edition, I pray that my meditations on my soon fittings for my robe of righteousness and crown of life will be sufficient to see me faithful to the end.”
In these last days, the world will hate us. Don’t be surprised! I know people that lost their jobs. Good, hardworking people that do good work and get great results. The only rational reason I can come up with for them losing their jobs is their bosses hated them because they are Christians, and the bosses are not. Don’t be surprised when the world hates you!
Do not be surprised, my brothers and sisters, if the world hates you.
1 John 3:13 NIV
“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If 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. Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the one who sent me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin. Whoever hates me hates my Father as well. If I had not done among them the works no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin. As it is, they have seen, and yet they have hated both me and my Father. But this is to fulfill what is written in their Law: ‘They hated me without reason.’”
John 15:18-25 NIV