In John 15:20 Jesus said "...If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you..." (ESV). Everyone has afflictions in this world. In America there is very little persecution though. Am I doing something wrong if I am not persecuted for my faith?
2 Thessalonians 1:4 - 5
ESV - 4 Therefore we ourselves boast about you in the churches of God for your steadfastness and faith in all your persecutions and in the afflictions that you are enduring. 5 This is evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are also suffering -
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To me, the focus in the cited passage is not the occurrence of the persecution or suffering, but the Christian's response to it when and if it does occur. It is the response that distinguishes the Christian from the unsaved in the case of similar adversity. (As Peter indicated in 1 Peter 2:19-20, it is never a source of credit or glory to undergo suffering that is justly deserved based on sinful actions.)
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