A good and sobering reminder from D.A. Carson in The Cross and Christian Ministry:
We follow a crucified Messiah. All the eschatological promises regarding the new heaven and the new earth, all the blessings of sins forgiven and of the blessed Spirit of God, do not negate the fact that the good news we present focuses on the foolishness of Christ crucified. And that message simply cannot be communicated from the haughty position of the triumphalists’s condescension. Until the end of the age, we will take up our cross – that is, we will die to self-interest daily – and follow Jesus. The less any society knows of that way, the more foolish we will seem and the more suffering we will endure. So be it; there is no other way of following Jesus.
Leaders in the church suffer more. They are not like generals in the military who stay behind the lines. They are like the assault troops, the front line people, who lead by example as much as by word. To praise a form of leadership that despises suffering is therefore to deny the faith. (pp. 107-108)