I paged through a pastel colored Christian calendar one time many years ago. The calendar had one page per day with an encouraging verse on each page. As I read through the calendar I was encouraged. However, I noted that all the verses quoted, like the calendar, seemed to be "pastel." Moreover, some of the verses quoted where only quoted in half, while the other more disturbing half was unquoted. Unfortunately, it really is in our nature to wish to see the Scriptures and the world in this way, simply as "nice." But it is essential that we Christians, of all people, face and teach the whole truth with courage.
For example we may slip from our calling at times and think it is merely good to be a Christian. Brothers and sisters in the Lord, it is good, but it is also difficult, challenging, rewarding, and sometimes terrible, but always right. In a word it is to be like Christ in this world. Consider God's word to Ananias about Paul, "But the Lord said to him, "Go your way, for he is my chosen vessel to bear my name before the nations and kings, and the children of Israel. For I will show him how many things he must suffer for my name's sake" (Acts 9:15-16 WEB).
In my reading of Scripture and experience with life I have identified five categories of human suffering. First there are "pot shots" from Satan under God's sovereign guidance and purpose. Such is the suffering of Job or Paul's thorn. Second there is suffering the natural consequence of sinful choices. Such is the warning of Galatians 6:7. Third there is suffering the Lord's corrective hand of discipline for our sin. Such is received only by believers as discussed in Hebrews 12:7-13. Fourth there is the personal anguish of soul suffered simply by being a sinner and being separated from Christ and his home of righteousness. Such is David's cry in Psalm 6:3. And fifth there is suffering persecution for righteousness from an unbelieving world. Christ chose Paul for this. And Paul reminds Timothy and us in 2 Timothy 3:12 that everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.
Three questions remain. Do you want to live a godly life in Christ Jesus? If God does count you worthy of persecution for righteousness will you respond with the grace of Christ? Will we call upon Christ for grace through our suffering? Keep looking to Him!