20 Do you remember what I told you? ‘A slave is not greater than the master.’ Since they persecuted me, naturally they will persecute you. And if they had listened to me, they would listen to you. — John 15:20 NLT
In His lifetime here on earth, Jesus suffered rejection, ridicule, mockery, and finally death on a cross. While he was living out His life as an example to us, He promised us that we would be offended and suffer persecution as well. When we suffer for His sake, we should be happy that He has chosen us to suffer with and for Him because we will receive a blessing here and a reward later.
11 “God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers. 12 Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted in the same way.– Matt. 5: 11, 12 NLT
God also disciplines His children and the discipline is for our benefit so that we grow and mature in His service.
19 I correct and discipline everyone I love. So be diligent and turn from your indifference. — Hebrews 3:19 NLT
I like the NLT translation of this verse because the way most of us Chrisitians sin is through indifference. So what, if my neighbors are lost, I am not going to get involved. Yeah, I felt that little nudge to speak or act but I am not going to do anything. Yes, I should visit the sick but I just don’t have the time. Woe unto us!! Jesus will not ignore these sins of indifference, there will be discipline for His children in this world, not in eternity. The kids of satan may prosper here because they are not God’s children to discipline but they will suffer punishment, the full wrath of God’s anger, for an eternity. So, we don’t need to concern ourselves with how God handles them.
We need to be concerned over why we are suffering: Is it persecution for His sake or discipline for our mistake?