This was a comment back to me and I don't want you all to miss it. It is from Ryan Hall and he adds much to the original post. I'll post again on the subject so the post is not so long.
"You hit the nail right on the head about suffering and persecution and the weak-sauce thoughts that can go with it. It is crazy how many Christians think that "for a cause, or for our own foolish choices or because we are doing wrong" brings about real suffering and persecution, but like you said that is not what Jesus and Paul are talking about.
You got my mind rollin a little too, and I remembered a verse in Philippians about suffering....here it is....
"Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel, and not frightened in anything by your opponents. This is a clear sign to them of their destruction, but of your salvation, and that from God. For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake" (Philippians 1:27-29)
The content of this paragraph is awesome. It has been granted to us in Christ that we should suffer for His sake. People love darkness rather then light, and anytime a follower of Jesus Christ is walking worthy of His calling it will upset the mass because of their evil and wicked ways. We don't even have to say anything (and sometimes we need to speak the truth in love) if our lives are lived out in a worthy manner of the gospel.
And check out what the Word says in First John....
"Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother's were righteous. Do not be surprised, my brothers, if the world hates you." (1 John 3:12-13)
When we are walking worthy of our calling in the gospel, the world is going to hate and persecute us for that kind of righteousness. The righteousness we got when we put our faith and trust in Jesus Christ. (see 2 Cor. 5:21). But that is ok because that is how Christians roll down here on earth. We live for the King and that means no backing down when it comes to living righteously"