Martin Lloyd Jones
Here are no fair false promises,
But the sharp comfort that doth spring from truth...
"[The Christian life] always involves suffering, and ... when it is truly lived, it always involves persecution. . . 'so persecuted they the prophets which were before you'. They have always done that, the world has always persecuted the man who follows God. You see it perfectly in the case of our Lord Himself. He was rejected by the world. He was hated by men and women because He was what He was. 'Yea', says Paul 'and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.' But who likes being persecuted? We do not like to be criticized or to be dealt with harshly. We really do like all people to speak well of us, and it is very galling to us to know that we are being hated and criticized; but Christ has warned us that we will be, if we come into this narrow way. It is strait and difficult; and as we enter, therefore, we must be ready for suffering and persecution.
You must be ready to be misunderstood, you must be ready, perhaps, even to be misunderstood by your nearest and dearest. Christ has told us that He came 'not to send peace, but a sword', a sword that may divide mother from daughter, or father from son, and those of your own household may be your greatest enemies. Why? Because you have been set apart ... and have entered by this strait gate that does not admit us by families, but one by one. It is very hard, it is very difficult. But the Lord Jesus Christ is honest with us; and if we see nothing else God grant that we may see the honesty and the truthfulness of this gospel which tells us at the very outset that ... you can only come one by one, for it is a strait and narrow gate. "
Studies in the Sermon on the Mount, ii, p. 226