Therefore, do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God (2 Timothy 1:8)
Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution (2 Timothy 3:12).
Ray Stedman, a favorite pastor-teacher of mine from a generation ago on the verses above—
“You might say, ‘Well, that doesn’t include me! I haven’t been tortured or imprisoned for my faith.’ Really? Then you are in the minority! Most Christians around the world see persecution & peril as a normal condition of being a Christian! More Christians have been put to death or tortured for Christ’s sake in the twentieth century than in any other. Don’t think that living in a country with a constitution and two-hundred plus years of religious liberty will protect you.
The suffering we will face may be physical, or likely mental and emotional. It is the kind of suffering that we endure when our faith is ridiculed, when we are excluded from various events because of our moral and spiritual stand, when we are treated with open contempt or disdain, when our values and Christian lifestyles are mocked and laughed at. These are all forms of suffering for the gospel, and we are to accept this suffering with patience, says Paul. Again, when we do so, we unleash the truth of God in the world, and without even defending ourselves, we guard the truth of God.
One of the reasons that the gospel is not widely accepted in many places today is that Christians have been impatient in suffering. Instead of patiently withstanding the abuse of this world, we have either been offended & outraged by persecution or we have given in and gone along with the crowd to escape having to suffer for the Lord’s sake. You cannot challenge the sin and corruption of the world without getting the world mad at you. Obviously, you don’t go out of your way to offend people, but the truth alone will bring about offense and backlash enough. The Scriptures make it clear that God is able to use our patient suffering for His truth as a tool for expanding the influence of His truth in the world. Our patient suffering is a potent, powerful way of guarding the truth of God.”
Charles Spurgeon was exactly right when he said,
‘Truth is like a lion. Whoever heard of defending a lion? Turn it loose and it will defend itself.’
That is what we need to do with this truth. We do not need to apologize for it with theological, exegetical arguments. We do not need to fend off attacks on the truth. We merely need to set the truth free in the world, act on it, live it, use our spiritual gifts, and the truth will take care of itself!”
Allow me to present a related comment by Oswald Chambers—
“Truth is not a system, not a constitution, not even a creed; the Truth is the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and He is the Truth about the Father just as He is the Way of the Father. Our tendency is to make truth a logical statement, to make it a principle instead of a Person.”