Worth It All
That's why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong (2 Corinthians 12:10).
Sometimes as believers we can be spiritual lightweights. At the first indication of a hardship or difficulty, we fold like a stack of cards. We say, "I didn't sign up for this. I don't want difficulty; I just want to get along with everyone."
But if you are a true follower of Christ, there will be suffering in your life. Here is a description of what it was like for the apostle Paul:
I have worked harder, been put in prison more often, been whipped times without number, and faced death again and again. Five different times the Jewish leaders gave me thirty-nine lashes. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked. Once I spent a whole night and a day adrift at sea. I have traveled on many long journeys. I have faced danger from rivers and from robbers. I have faced danger from my own people, the Jews, as well as from the Gentiles. I have faced danger in the cities, in the deserts, and on the seas. And I have faced danger from men who claim to be believers but are not. I have worked hard and long, enduring many sleepless nights. I have been hungry and thirsty and have often gone without food. I have shivered in the cold, without enough clothing to keep me warm. (2 Corinthians 11:23–27).
Like Paul, if you are going to be used of God, then you are going to be attacked. If you are a real Christian, it will cause some friction. If you are a real Christian, you will face opposition.
I am not trying to paint a portrait of Christianity that is undesirable; I am just being honest as I describe what it means to follow Christ. And it's worth it all.