Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life, which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. James 1:12.
One of my favorite books is Hind’s Feet on High Places, by Hannah Hurnard. I read this book in college as a very new believer, before any actual suffering came into my Christian life. The story was merely a concept to me then. I remember the intensity of the story scaring me a bit. I remember talking to friends who did not want to read it, because it was about suffering. They did not even want to think about that.
Now I ‘get’ the precious truth of the themes of walking with Christ along the narrow path, (through mountains and valleys) with suffering, learning obedience and trust, all for love to Him. Now the story makes sense. I have lived a bit. Now I’m not as scared about suffering, because now I understand that the Lord is in control, He is with me through it, and He is doing something good and I can trust Him. The Lord brought small amounts of suffering into my life, for many reasons. One, I’m sure, is to teach me to persevere and not give up; to keep going- to the end.