Jesus told His followers to expect hardship. In fact, every major character in both the Old and New Testament endured trials most of us can't even fathom. In my opinion, there are three significant reasons why we face trials:
- As children of God, each of us has an inheritance to claim. There is an adversary who will do everything in His power to trick us or deceive us into thinking we are unworthy of our inheritance. There are dark forces at work and they do not sleep.
- We cannot grow wise without being challenged. Every hardship offers a lesson in life. Embracing hardship leads to abundant life.
- Show me a person who is bruised, battered and beaten; one who sings God's praises no matter what trial he is asked to endure and I will show you a person who knows the rich rewards that await him or her at the end of the trials. That person is my brother or sister in Christ. In order to live with Christ, me must first die with Christ. We must be willing to bear our own cross, one which pales in comparison to the one Jesus carried on His back for us.