In the midst of Jesus’s ministry, He called His twelve disciples to Him and gave them power to cast out unclean spirits and sicknesses, then sent them out to various cities. Before they left, He gave them a sort of locker room speech:

“Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. But beware of men, for they will deliver you up to councils and scourge you in their synagogues. You will be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles…

And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved…And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matt. 10:16-18, 22, 28)

I like to picture Jesus stopping here and then being kind of “Woo! Put your hands in, ‘Disciples!’ on three…” and the disciples just kind of blankly staring at him, processing the world’s worst pep talk as their level of panic escalated.

They had signed up to be spiritual rock stars—casting out demons and healing the lame and people begging them for relief from a lifetime of pain, not hatred and persecution and martyrdom. To them in the middle of Jesus’s ministry, crowds of adoring followers trailed them wherever they went.  His words must have seemed unfathomable.

But Jesus didn’t end on that downer.  He continued:

“Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore: you are of more value than many sparrows” (Matt. 10:29-31)

There are many Christians who believe that if their faith is strong enough, God will protect them from every bad thing.  But that’s not what the bible tells us.  Jesus told His followers not to be afraid when bad things happen, that He is with us no matter what.  He didn’t say that bad things wouldn’t happen to us—in fact, as evidenced by the verses above, He pretty much promises that they will.