Persecution is promised to every believer. How can we be prepared for it?
1. Start small. Learn to bear with patience a reproach for Christ, and then you will be fitter to bear an iron chain. (Acts 5:41; 2 Timothy 2:3)
2. Deepen your knowledge of Christ. A man will never die for one he does not know. (2 Timothy 1:12; 1 Peter 2:7)
3. Treasure God's truth. He who does not prize truth above life will never lay down his life for the truth. (Proverbs 23:23; John 8:32)
4. Learn to deny yourself. Self-denial is the foundation of godliness, and prepares the believer for adversity. (Luke 9:23; Matthew 19:24-29)
5. Stand in faith. Faith unites the soul to Christ and gets strength from God's promises. (Ephesians 6:16; 1 Peter 1:7; 1 Corinthians 16:13).
6. Walk in Love. Love thinks it can never do enough for Christ, and motivates every true service for Him. (1 Corinthians 13:3; John 15:13).
7. Live in Hope. God's promises assure us of His help, grace, and blessing. (Luke 21:16-19; 2 Cor. 4:17)
—Adapted from The Beatitudes by Thomas Watson.
Persecution is necessary for the godly. If we have not all manner of evil spoken of us, how can we know whether we seek only that honor which comes from above? If we have no persecutors, how can many Christian precepts be put into practice? How can we love, pray for, and do good to those who despitefully use us? How can we overcome evil with good? In short, how can we know we love God better than life itself? —George Whitefield