– Many of the points in this post can be found in The Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7). These three chapters provide the longest uninterrupted discourse on record we have from Jesus. They represent a comprehensive view of what He believed and taught, and it seems obvious that Matthew (one of the original twelve apostles) intended his readers to give it special attention. Its length gives it a context for its many individual parts (context is always important for understanding almost anything you read in the Bible).
– If you never read anything else from the Bible but kept re-reading – and practicing – The Sermon on the Mount, you would do well. Consider it a mini-Bible.
– A short passage on persecution worth meditating is 2 Timothy 3:10-12. It speaks to the cause of persecution, but also to God’s power to redeem us from persecution’s most negative effects. Romans 8:35-39 speaks specifically of the love of God as power enough to overcome not just persecution, but all obstacles we face in this life.
– The apostle Paul made clear his conviction that persecution was a minor issue when compared to the outcome (see Romans 8:18).
– A theme of the Bible, made explicit in the New Testament, is “suffering and glory” – in that order. That is, if we suffer for God’s sake, then He consequently bestows glory on us. Little suffering, little glory; great suffering, great glory. Jesus received the greatest glory because He endured the greatest suffering. A study of the words “suffering” and “glory” (including their cognates) with a concordance is valuable.