ANSWER: The suffering is for Christ's sake, to promote his glory by confessing rather than denying him. The suffering is not inflicted by God, but by his enemies, the persecutors, to whom all believers were exposed in the apostolic age, of which period this is explicitly affirmed. In a less degree suffering from self-denial and sacrifice for the promotion of Christ's kingdom in all the world is a part of the discipline of all Christians. Yet we are not to consider our piety spurious because we are not persecuted. (2) The God of love allows this suffering in order to develop those moral qualities which will insure our eternal felicity. Many men, like Abraham Lincoln, have thanked God for the poverty into which they were born, the struggle against which developed those noble qualities which made them eminently successful. The loving father chastises the disobedient son, and lays heavy burdens on the obedient one to develop his strength. Will the heavenly father do less? See Rev. 3:19.
— Steele's Answers pp. 265, 266.