WHAT JESUS DID! So You Won't Fall Away!
"I have told you these things so that people will not be able to destroy your faith. People will make you leave their synagogues. Yes, a time is coming when people will think that killing you would be doing service for God. People will do these things because they have not known the Father, and they have not known me. I have told you these things now. So when the time comes for these things to happen, you will remember that I warned you. "I did not tell you these things at the beginning, because I was with you then."
-- John 16:1-4 (ERV)
Jesus doesn't pull any punches with his disciples. What happens to the Master will also likely happen to many of his disciples. They need to know that Jesus had warned them so they won't be overly discouraged when it does happen. Amazingly, Jesus' concern in the face of his own death is his disciples' preparation for facing similar struggles. Jesus wants them to know that they are not alone and what they face was something expected. Jesus warned them about it before he returned home to heaven.
Father, please bless those who are being persecuted and mistreated because of their faith. Give them courage to stand up to the onslaught and mistreatment. Be present to them through your Spirit; not only guide their words, but please also give them strength. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.