If you thought walking with Christ wouldn't involve suffering, someone may have led you astray. The Bible never promises an easy life, in fact, when you walk with Jesus that's a sure sign your life will be anything but easy. Nancy Leigh DeMoss says, "The message that was preached by the Lord Jesus Himself and by the apostles who followed Him was a call to take up the cross; it was a call to sign up for battle; it was a call to suffer."
But the beauty in this is the quality of life we live in spite of suffering.
Seventeenth-century author William Law says, "Receive every inward and outward trouble, every disappointment, pain, uneasiness, temptation, darkness, and desolation, with both thy hands, as a true opportunity and blessed occasion of dying to self, and entering into a fuller fellowship with thy self-denying, suffering Saviour."
Every time someone disappoints us, every time we get hurt (physically or emotionally), every time we are troubled or have anxiety over a situation, every time we are tempted to do wrong, every moment of darkness (no matter what the cause), every time we feel lonely and miserable we need to CLING to our Savior and claim this old hymn:
Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in his wonderful face
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of his glory and grace
And then when you have nothing in your view except His beautiful face, thank Him for the opportunity to die to self, while asking Him for the strength to do so. This is how we enter into a fuller relationship with Him...because that's what He did 2,000 years ago. And if you believe He has the ability to empower you to do what seems like the impossible, He will.
Nancy Leigh DeMoss also says, "All the New Testament authors recognized that there is a redemptive, sanctifying fruit that cannot be produced in our lives apart from suffering." (Emphasis mine) How hard that is to accept, and how beautiful! He makes it worth it when we focus on Him.