None of us takes to the cross naturally. Sacrifice hurts, and the hurt is real. But there is a deeper desire in us than that of simply avoiding pain. We want to do the will of God…
… Many people do not think about suffering when they think of Christian service. This is a big mistake. All through the New Testament we are told that if we are faithful to God, we will suffer. When we do Christian ministry, we take on the mantle of Jesus, the suffering servant. The long list of of his sufferings for Christ that Paul gives in his epistles are very vivid. In fact, he describes his personal sufferings as Christ’s own sufferings (Phil 3:10, Col 1:24-25) indicating that suffering was an aspect of his union with Christ. IF we do not anticipate suffering, we could be disillusioned when it comes or try to avoid it through disobedience.
But suffering is not easy. Those who make love their goal in life are going to hurt deeply when they are rejected, unappreciated, exploited, or opposed by the very people they seek to love. But that is the lot of God’s servants.
However as we face the prospect of suffering, God will remind us that, just as Christ’s sufferings produced great glory, our sufferings will also bring great glory to God.
Ajith Fernando in Jesus Driven Ministry (p52-53)
'Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus.'
2 Timothy 2:3