A Christian rock band named Daniel Amos recognized this cowardice in all of us, including myself, and wrote a song about it.
Listen to the song here.
This seems counterintuitive but we ought to rejoice when we're verbally or physically abused for our faithfulness. The followers of Christ felt it was an honour to suffer for his sake. Acts 5:41 KJV) records what happened to these faithful saints. "And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name."
We also read this in James 1:2 and 3 (BBE). "Let it be all joy to you, my brothers, when you undergo tests of every sort; Because you have the knowledge that the testing of your faith gives you the power of going on in hope;"
God isn't mean to let us suffer for Christ. Look at what Scripture says in James 1:4 (KJV). "But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing."
We also have the records of all the faithful to remind us of how they persevered in the face of horrific persecution. The author of Hebrews outlined how the faithful sought a heavenly city and the Messiah. Hebrews 12:1 (KJV) reminds us, "Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,"
Furthermore, our present persecution will turn to great joy later. Look at what 1 Peter 4:13 (KJV) points out. "But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy."
How wonderful it is that whatever we suffer now will be infinitely compensated when Christ returns. Let's all cling to this wonderful hope.
On Monday, I'll post about what John meant by fathers, young men, and children. Some people might be confused by those verses in his letter to the faithful.