If you find a religion promising nothing but good times — such as the “health and wealth” gospel — you know it’s not authentic Christianity:
“Whoever does not take up his cross and follow after me is not worthy of me” (Matt. 10:38).
“[We are] joint heirs with Christ, if only we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him” (Rom. 8:16-17).
“I consider that the sufferings of this present time are as nothing compared with the glory to be revealed to us” (Rom. 8:18).
“And this is God’s doing. For to you has been granted, for the sake of Christ, not only to believe in him but also to suffer for him” (Phi!. 1:28-29).
“I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in the sufferings of Christ on behalf of his body, which is the Church” (Co!. 1:24).
“You have also forgotten the exhortation addressed to you as sons: ‘My son, do not disdain the discipline of the Lord or lose heart when reproved by him; for whom the Lord loves, he disciplines; he scourges every son he acknowledges.’ Endure your trials as ‘discipline’; God treats you as sons” (Heb. 12:5-7).
“[A]ll discipline seems a cause not for joy but for pain, yet later it brings the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who are trained by it” (Heb. 12:11).
“In this you rejoice, although now for a little while you may have to suffer through various trials” (1 Pet. 1:6).
“Whenever anyone bears the pain of unjust suffering because of consciousness of God, that is a grace. . . Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example that you should follow in his footsteps” (1 Pet. 2:19-21).