Fiery ordeal? Sufferings? Hated by the world? This wasn't mentioned in the sales pitch! Yet, if we truly follow Jesus, along with all the countless blessings will come opposition: anything from suspicion and misunderstanding to imprisonment and execution. As Geoff explains, we need perseverance to live by different values and to accept whatever the consequences might be.
Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.
[Jesus said,] ‘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.’