At no point in the Gospel does Jesus tell us that if we follow him our lives will be filled with success or that people will like us for it. Quite the contrary, actually! We follow a man who came to share the love of God with the world through healing and forgiveness, but was rejected by the religious elite, betrayed by his closest friends, and murdered as a common criminal. This is not simply Jesus’s fate many years ago, but ours today. “Take up your crosses daily,” he tells us. While there is nothing wrong with hoping for success in our lives, our faith is destined for problems if it becomes an expectation we cannot live without. The road of discipleship is filled with failure; if we demand that our lives be successful, we won’t make it very far.
—from the book Let Go: Seven Stumbling Blocks to Christian Discipleship by Casey Cole, OFM