Suffering & Glory
Suffering and glory may be likened to the valley and the mountain top in the Bible. We all have seasons of trials in the valley and the outcome of victory which put us on the mountain top. We certainly enjoy the mountain tops that give us a reprieve to life's trials.
God has a different will for every one of His believers. There is not one will for all His people. Peter was led to die being crucified upside down. Paul was beheaded in Rome. John lived a long life, yet John still also wrote of suffering; "I, John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation ...," (Rev 1:9)
Paul wrote "I am the Apostle to the Gentiles" (Rom 11:13, cf. 15:16). We follow in Paul's footsteps as Paul followed in Christ's steps. Paul wrote, "Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ. (1Cor 11:1) and then also Paul wrote these words confirming that we follow him in sufferings "for His (Christ's) sake."
"so that we ourselves boast of you among the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that you endure, which is manifest evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be counted worthy (deserving) of the kingdom of God, for which you also suffer;" (2 Thess. 1:4-5)
"For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake, having the same conflict which you saw in me (Paul) and now hear is in me." (Phil 1:29-30)
Our suffering are so we will learn to trust the Lord in the midst of our trials. Paul never once says, pray to be delivered out of the trials... but that we should be strengthened through them being for our own eternal benefit; learning to trust the Lord.
"For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life: 9 But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, (so) that we should Not Trust In Ourselves, But In God which raiseth the dead: (2 Corinthians 1:8-9)
Being afflicted does not mean the Lord has ignored you or loves you any less. It actually means He has turned his favor upon you, to work "In You."
"...but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ's sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy…19Therefore let those who Suffer According To The Will Of God commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator." (1 Pet 4:13, 19)
Paul again, "...if indeed we Suffer with Him, that we may also be Glorified Together (with Him)." (Rom 8:17). Most all of us will pass through much suffering before we enter our eternal abode in heaven. Actually, the harder it is for us, the more beneficial the outcome. We should never wonder the why or the what for. He's already told us. We need to view everything as coming from the hand of our loving Father God who desires the best for us.
In our time there are those who do not want to bear the reproach of the cross. Yet we are expected to take up the cross and walk the road of suffering. If we willingly die to self, we will be given the power to live unto God. These words below are written to the Hebrews concerning their sufferings.
"it was fitting for Him... in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect (complete) through sufferings." ... Christ suffered to preserve his sinlessness." (Heb 2:10) "... though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved or made sorrowful by various trials, (so) that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ," (1Pet 1:6-7)
We get married for better or worse and it's as if we as believers are married to Christ; His love will see us through the worst of times. Our trials are not judgment. We forever abide in His love in all things. He love us as our real Father. "(Nothing) Shall Be Able To Separate Us From The Love Of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Rom 8:39)
If you were able to measure the universe you still couldn't measure His love for you; its still too great. So we certainly can trust that He prescribes things for us that are only for our growth, maturing, and eternal blessing.