For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him… (Philippians 1:29)
Becoming a Christian is not a rose garden. You may have heard it from someone or from a church, that if you become a Christian all your problems will disappear, or that you will always be victorious, or that you will become super rich (or, as they say, “blessed”). But it’s a misrepresentation of what it really means to be a follower of Jesus. To follow Jesus may entail suffering. Of course, not all suffering is due to the fact that a person is a believer in Christ. Some suffering can be self-inflicted. Others can come from misguided people around you. Still, other types of sufferings are simply part of what it means to live in a fallen world. Everyone suffers one way or the other because they live here on earth. But following Jesus may entail a different kind of suffering. It has to do with representing Christ in this world, and speaking His truth with courage. Sometimes it may come simply because you want to take a stand for what is right in order to glorify His name. For example, a believer in Christ may say that same-sex marriage is wrong, and surely people will accuse him or her of being narrow-minded. In fact, others may even go to the extent of actually harming him or her because of this conviction. But that’s what the bible calls “Christian suffering.” It is suffering for His name. Yes, there is suffering in this world when you follow Christ. But your reward far outweighs whatever suffering you might experience. In Him there is great joy, even in the midst of suffering.