Saul seems to have been the leader of the Church’s first widespread persecution; It was intense and severe and could you even imagine what it would have taken to stand up to Saul and his guards and claim to be a devout follower of Jesus Christ. Knowingly sealing your fate for a horrible death, but rejoicing in the fact that you did not betray Christ.
Stephen was this example that comes to mind. Acts 7:58 And cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man’s feet whose name was Saul.

Persecution is something that is kind of swept under the rug when it comes to the Christian faith. Matthew 10:22 And you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved. Hated by all, seems a bit for me to even swallow at this moment, but he who endures to the end will be saved. To be saved now I like the sound of that. The point is that we are not to live Christ-Like for the approval of man, we are not to be outwardly refined “Sunday Christians”. Yet this gospel requires that we abandoned concerns for approval of man, in hopes that we can take the good news to the ends of the earth. John 15:18 If the world hates you, you know that it hated me before it hated you.

2 Timothy 3:1-7 But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth.

These passages in from 2 Timothy have never been more relevant then the times we are living in right now. God’s presence is what I long for daily, Lord open my eyes to things of the heavenly nature.
Father, Today I ask that equip me with the endurance to with stand the enemy attacks when he comes. That I am perfect and complete lacking nothing. I desire the mind of Christ in all that I do I honor you Lord. Thank you Father for you are good. I love you Lord. – Amen

– Branson James

http://www.freedomchristianministries.org