Acts 14.22 reports, strengthening the disciples by encouraging them to continue in the faith and by telling them, “It is necessary to go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God.”
When we preach the gospel we promise people their lives will get better not harder. We want success in our ask not commitment to our offer. We get people to pray with us but few walk with us. We are doing it wrong.
The gospel begins with repent. This means change, turn from the way we are going and go the opposite way. We are to live lives pleasing to God, no longer living for ourselves and the things that pleasure our flesh. We are to deny ourselves, making the will of God and His glory upon earth our first and only priority.
This type of living, doing what God wants and in particular helping others know Jesus as Savior, will cause us conflict with people. People will despise us for no longer engaging in their evil ways. They will malign us for no longer getting drunk, high or whatever. They will argue with us over the fact that Jesus is the only God, that the Bible is the only source of absolute truth and that it is absolutely true.
We will have disagreements from both atheists and those who call themselves Christians but really are not. It is not that we are to be contentious, we are not. It is that living a holy life and sharing with others that Jesus must be submitted to for men to be saved is offensive to people who still want to be god of their own life.
As Jesus suffered so He promised His people will suffer. If we are not suffering in our relationships over Jesus its probably because we are not living as Jesus lived including the sharing Him as Savior and Lord of all with those around us. If we are not suffering for identifying with Jesus then are we truly Christian?