Jesus never promised his followers an easy life. He always urged prospective disciples to count the cost before making their choice. Even after they chose to follow him, he warned them well in advance that trials and persecutions would come.
Jesus knew that persecution and difficult times would arise from different sources; from religious leaders, civil authorities, even from relatives and friends. But Jesus impressed one thing upon his disciples, that being; however severe the persecution might be, they must not forget their mission. Nothing should dim their vision nor lessen their zeal. Even their appearance before kings and rulers should be seized upon as God-given opportunities to bear witness to the truth. Furthermore, Jesus promised them that in those public trials the Holy Spirit would give them wisdom and strength. The Holy Spirit would guide them in what they should say.
You realize, don't you, that the Holy Spirit lives and works in you, too, just as it did in the disciples. You realize, don't you, that your mission and vision should b e that as of the first disciples; to bear witness to the truth that Jesus is the long awaited Messiah; the Son of God, the Savior of mankind. And as Jesus promised his disciples, the same promise is made to you and me, "He who endures to the end will be saved." Your unfailing loyalty will be rewarded with eternal salvation. The future reward, you see, makes all the present trials fade into insignificance. Amen.