Lately, I have been drawn to the The Imitation of Christ by Thomas A Kempis. Likely read more than any other book than the Bible, this 600-year-old gem says repeatedly that believers of Jesus must be willing to suffer if they want to love him and serve him always.
Martin Luther King, Jr. was a man who understood that. Hundreds of Christian martyrs have understood that over time.
Indeed the more I die to myself in this body — by choosing to follow Jesus rather than what I want — the more I begin to live for God. Until I surrender to him in adversities, I am restricted from comprehending spiritual things in depth, or from walking closely with him. Does that ring true to you?
"If only you were worthy to suffer something for the name of Jesus! How much glory would be yours. What joy all God’s followers would feel! How much you would teach your neighbor! For every one advises patience, but few are willing to suffer." — from the IMITATION OF CHRIST
Clearly, experiencing difficulties is expected for followers of Jesus — from those who suffer racial discrimination, from the poor of the world and from rich Americans where accumulation of wealth drives many people.
Difficulties are expected for followers of Jesus. Have you been accepting the difficulties that come your way or demanding that Jesus remove them?