Paul wrote in II Tim. 1:12, "For the which cause I suffer these things," or, "This is WHY I am suffering as I do."
Why was Paul in prison? Why did all of the prophets, apostles, and reformers suffer death. Why were Bunyan, Spurgeon, and other great ministers despised? The answer is two-fold!
If a man believes and preaches the gospel of God's true grace in Christ, he will suffer persecution because the religious world despises sovereign mercy. But if a man believes and preaches the gospel of God's glory and grace, the Lord will use even this wrath of men, persecution, and suffering to bring his elect to faith in Christ. You who compromise the truth of grace for the smiles of men, do not be deceived. These smiles are but the laughter of the demons behind these faces. And you faithful servants who incur the anger and frowns of this religious society, rejoice; for as Cowper wrote, "Behind a frowning providence, HE HIDES A SMILING FACE." He causes us to triumph in Christ even when we think that we have failed. "We endure all things for the sake of God's elect that they may ALSO obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal joy" (II Tim. 2:10). Let us be kind and considerate, but NEVER FOR ANY REASON COMPROMISE THE GOSPEL, what ever the consequences; for even the consequences are ordered by our Lord for His glory! So whether Ananias slaps you on the mouth or Lydia invites you to dinner, do not be affected overmuch; it is HIS DOINGS FOR HIS GLORY!