Are you ever surprised by trials and hardships as a Christian?  Following Jesus is not an easy life, but it is worth it, because He has a crown of life waiting for us at the end of it all!  When you became a Christian did you assume life was going to be like a walk in the park?  Well I am sure by now you’ve figured it out; you know differently.  Although we live in the world, spiritually, we no longer belong to the world; so as a result, we have become targets for the enemy and the world to take shots at.

Jesus warned His disciples, 
·        “In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world” (Jn 16:32).
·        “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first” (Jn 15:18).
·        “If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also” (Jn 15:21b).
·        Talking about trials, the apostle Paul reminded the Churches of Thessalonica, “You know quite well that we are destined for them…we kept telling you that we would be persecuted” (1 Thess 3:3-4).

·        As a reminder, Paul told the young Pastor, Timothy, “In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Tim 3:12).  

·        And to the Philippians, Paul makes it clear; faith in Jesus and suffering go together.  That is why we should not be surprised.  “For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe on Him, but also to suffer for Him” (Php 1:2).

So let us not be discouraged, for the day is coming, sooner than we can imagine, when He will usher us into the presence of His Father and the holy angels.  Our reward will be a crown of life, mansions, and streets of gold, but above all those, we get to see our dear Savior, face to face!  “Amen.  Come Lord Jesus” (Rev 22:20b).