Suffering, Of Believers
Most Relevant Verses
And you will be hated by everyone for being loyal to me. But the person who endures [this persecution by remaining faithful] to the end [of his life] is the one who will be saved [i.e., from spiritual and physical destruction].
You will be hated by all people because you belong to me, but the person who holds out [i.e., remains faithful to God] until the end [i.e., the end of this time of severe persecution] will be saved [from destruction].
But, watch out for people, for they will turn you over to the [Jewish] councils [for judgment] and will have you flogged in their synagogues.
Therefore look, I am sending to you prophets, wise men and scholarly teachers. You will murder and crucify some of them; you will whip some of them in your synagogues and pursue them from town to town.
At that time people will turn you over [to the authorities] for persecution and will [even] kill you. And people from all countries will hate you for being loyal to me.
But you will be turned over [i.e., to the authorities for punishment] even by [your own] parents and brothers and relatives and friends. And they will [even] put some of you to death. And you will be hated by all people for being loyal to me.
[Along the way] they strengthened the hearts of the disciples, urging them to continue [to believe and practice] the faith and [explaining] that entering God's [heavenly] kingdom [See II Tim. 4:18] requires enduring many trials.
In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in [the service of] Christ will be persecuted.
Because God has granted you [the privilege], on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake.
Do not be afraid of the things you are about to suffer. [For] look, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, so that you may be tested, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. [But], you should be faithful [to God] even to the point of dying [for Him], and I will give you the crown of [never ending] life.
but chose rather to suffer mistreatment with God's people [i.e., the Israelites] than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a brief time. He considered suffering ridicule for Christ's sake to be greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking forward to his reward.
And so the Council agreed [with Gamaliel's advice] and when they called the apostles back in, they had them beaten and ordered them never to speak in the name of Jesus [again]; then they released them.
Now about that time King Herod began a persecution of certain people in the [Jerusalem] church. [Note: This man was the grandson of Herod the Great. See Matt. 2:1]. He had James, the brother of John, killed with the sword. When he realized that this act pleased the Jews, he proceeded to have Peter arrested also. [This happened] during the Festival of Unleavened Bread [See Exodus 12:15ff].
Are they servants of Christ? (I am really talking like a crazy person now). I am more [of a servant, than they are]. I have worked much harder. I have been in prison more often. I have been flogged more severely. I have been in danger of death more frequently. I received thirty-nine lashes from the Jews five times. I was beaten with rods three times. I was stoned once. I suffered shipwreck three times and spent a night and a day in the open water.read more.
I have been on frequent journeys; in danger from rivers; in danger from thieves; in danger from my own people; in danger from the Gentiles; in danger in the city; in danger in the desert; in danger in the ocean; in danger among false brothers. I have worked and suffered. I have often gone without sleep, been hungry and thirsty, often gone without food [i.e., for spiritual reasons], been cold and had inadequate clothing. Besides these [kinds of] things [or, "besides these outward things"], there is the daily pressure on me of concern for all the churches. Who is weak, and I do not feel their weakness? Who is led astray [from God], and I do not burn [i.e., with righteous anger over the one who caused it]?
But [even though] we had already suffered and been mistreated at Philippi [See Acts 16:19-24], as you people know, we had the boldness, [with help] from God, to tell you His message in spite of much struggle [i.e., opposition].
But remember the earlier days when, after you were enlightened [to the truth], you endured a difficult struggle by having to suffer [much]. Sometimes you were subjected to public ridicule and abuse, and at other times you shared [vicariously] with those people who were treated that way. For you showed sympathy for those who were in prison and accepted it joyfully when your [own] possessions were taken away, [because] you knew that you yourselves had a better and more permanent possession [in heaven].
"Those persons who have suffered for trying to do what is right will be blessed because the kingdom of heaven belongs to them. You will be blessed when people speak against you and harm you and say bad things about you that are untrue, because of [your devotion to] me. Be happy and very glad, for your reward in heaven will be great. For they persecuted the prophets [who lived] before you in the same way.
Then He looked at His disciples and said, "Those of you who have a [sense of personal] need are blessed, because the kingdom of God belongs to you. Those of you who now have an appetite [i.e., for doing what is right] are blessed, because you will be satisfied [eventually]. Those of you who cry now [i.e., over your sins] are blessed, because you will laugh [i.e., when you are forgiven later]. You are blessed when men hate you and withdraw their fellowship from you and speak abusively about you and reject your name as evil, [all] for being loyal to the Son of man.read more.
Be happy at that time and jump for joy and realize that your reward in heaven will be great, for the forefathers [i.e., of your corrupt Jewish leaders] treated the prophets the same way.
When the apostles left the Council meeting, they were rejoicing over being considered worthy to suffer [such] shame for the name [of Jesus].
So, do not be ashamed to testify for our Lord, or ashamed of [being associated with] me, His prisoner, but [be willing to] suffer hardship with me for the sake of the Gospel, relying on God's power [to sustain you].
Loved ones, do not be surprised that you people are undergoing extremely difficult trials, as though something strange were happening to you, for it is [only] a test [of your faith]. You should rejoice that you are sharing some of what Christ has suffered, so that you will get to rejoice all the more when He returns in His splendor. If you are spoken against for being Christians, you have God's blessing, because His glorious Holy Spirit rests upon you [to provide comfort, See John 14:16].read more.
[However], you should not have to suffer for murdering, stealing, doing evil or interfering in the affairs of others. But if a person should have to suffer because he is a Christian, he should not be ashamed [of it], but instead, he should bring honor to God by [wearing] the name [of Christ].
[For the suffering] you are enduring [is] for your discipline. God is dealing with you as He does with [His] children, for what child is not disciplined by his father?
If you belonged to the world, the world would love [you as] its own people. But since you do not belong to the world, for I chose you out of it, that is why the world hates you.
I have given them your word, and the world hated them because they do not belong to the world just as I do not belong to the world.
And if we are [His] children, then we have an inheritance from God [i.e., blessings here and hereafter] and are fellow-sharers with Christ [of such blessings], providing we [are willing to] suffer with Him, so we can also be honored with Him [i.e., in the future life. See verses 18-25].
Therefore, we ourselves speak proudly about you among the churches of God because of your steadfastness and faith amid all the persecutions and afflictions that you are enduring. The way you are faithfully enduring [such] suffering for the kingdom of God is clear evidence that God's judgment is right in [eventually] counting you worthy of it [i.e., of entering the eternal phase of the kingdom].
No discipline seems pleasant, but painful, at the time [it is received], yet later on it produces a crop of peace and righteousness in [the lives of] those who have been trained by it.
He will cut off [See verse 6] every branch [i.e., follower of Christ] who is in [fellowship with] me that does not bear fruit. And He will prune every branch that does bear fruit, so it will bear more fruit.
Because of this you can be very joyous, even though it is necessary for you to have suffered many trials for a little while. But these will only test your faith, which is more valuable than gold which, though refined by fire, eventually perishes. Your faith, [however], will [endure and eventually] prove to be praiseworthy and honorable when Jesus returns.
We always carry around in our [physical] bodies the [threat of] dying, as Jesus did [i.e., the apostles were constantly exposed to impending danger and death], so that the life of Jesus [i.e., His virtue, courage, faithfulness, etc.] may be demonstrated in our bodies [i.e., in the way we live] also.
Now I rejoice in [spite of] my sufferings for your sake, and I am filling up [i.e., completing] in my physical body what was lacking in the afflictions Christ endured for His body's sake, the church.
except that the Holy Spirit reveals to me in every city [I visit] that chains and persecutions await me there. But I do not consider my life to be of value, as precious to me, [when compared to the importance of] accomplishing my task and the mission I received from the Lord Jesus to declare the good news of God's unearned favor [through Christ].
For I think that God has displayed us apostles last in line, as men doomed to die. [Note: The picture here is that of gladiators in the arena]. We are being stared at [i.e., as performers on a theater stage] for the whole world to see, both angels and people. We are "fools" for Christ's sake, but you people [think you] are "wise" in [the fellowship of] Christ. We are weak, but you people [think you] are "strong." You are honored, but we are despised. Even to this moment, we [apostles] are hungry and thirsty; we have inadequate clothing; we have been beaten; we do not have a permanent place to live;read more.
we work hard with our hands. [Though] we are cursed, we [ask God's] blessing [on people]; [though] we are persecuted, we persevere; [though] we are slandered, we reply kindly. We have become [like] the scum of the earth, the dregs of all society, to this day.
May the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the Father of compassionate feelings and the God of all comfort, be praised. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any [kind of] trouble, through the comfort we ourselves have received from Him. For just as we experience an overflow of Christ's sufferings, even so we also experience an overflow of comfort through Christ.
My little children [i.e., dear ones], I am again deeply pained [as a woman in childbirth] over your [spiritual] condition, until [the life of] Christ becomes formed in your character.
- Christ's Disciples Will Suffer
- Hated Saints
- People Being Hated
- Persecution Predicted
- Persecution, Attitudes To
- Persecution, Forms Of
- Persecution, Nature Of
- Spiritual Warfare, Enemies In
- Suffering For Christ's Sake
- Suffering, Hardship