The gospel of Matthew-5 records the Beatitude. The Christianity is not merely receiving eternal life, but it is matter of living for Christ or living with Christ in this world for His glory. As Phi 1:29 said" for it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe but also to suffer for His sake. When I was born again I thought that I will not face any persecution or headache for my Christianity. I was born in Myanmar who persecute Christians mercilessly. Unless I know the truth, there may be a question to God, why Lord persecution? But His word tell me that "Rejoice in persecution , because there is a reward kept for you in heaven". Typically we may not be able to rejoice when we are in persecution, but we need to look at heavenly king like Stephen and hear His comforting words of our dear Lord, our forerunner so that we may rejoice through Him who strengthens us. May God bless dear readers to be able to rejoice in the midst persecution.
(Tim adds - John Mark saw 25 people he water baptized last year imprisoned for the gospel's sake.