In case you ever read the Beatitudes in Matthew 5 , you might have wondered whether you really want that type of “blessing” !! ” Poor in spirit (vs.3), who mourn (vs. 4) who hunger and thirst after righteousness (vs. 6) persecuted, reviled (vs. 10,11) . To really understand it, you have to realize who He is addressing and in what context! Jesus is not saying that you are blessed only if you experience these, but that when these situations come along in the life of a sincere believer ( and they will) , not to interpret it that God has forsaken or left you! No, much the opposite, He is preparing you wth a new focus, better understanding and a new stamina ( called “hardness “in I Timothy 2:3) for faithful service. To interpret hardship and trial as God’s judgement is a most damaging and is a cause of much discouragement. May God help us to be able to discern between His chastening for sin and character building in us. The disciples were to face difficulties and must not give up.