"Just as Christ's whole body was lifted up on the cross, no member of His can expect to escape the cross now.
It is our duty as believers to be prepared to endure any hardship and trial, which God lays out for us in our Christian walk. And saints will never be without these trials. As Christ said of the poor, they will always be with us. Augustine said the bloody sweat, which Christ felt signified the sufferings, which He would endure in His mystical body. Just as Christ's whole body was lifted up on the cross, no member of His can expect to escape the cross now. When it comes to each of us, it will not speak glory for the Savior if we merely yield passively to God's will; we must be ready with an active and holy patience to obey, to be led down into the very chambers of death itself, if that is God's choice.
I heard about an epitaph, which should never be engraved on a Christian’s, gravestone: "Here lies one against his will." Paul had the holy mind of Christ when he confessed: "I am ready not to be bound only, but also die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus. Acts 21:13. Skeptics might think the apostle's boldness flourished only when the enemy was far away, but faded into fear when he had to look death in the face. No, Paul stood on his earlier profession even then: "I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. 2 Timothy 4:6.
If you listen closely you will hear Paul speaking as if his death had already happened. And he was dead before the stroke was given-- not from fear, but from complete resignation to it. A criminal is dead in the sense of the law as soon as the judge speaks the sentence, although the condemned man may survive weeks afterwards. In a Gospel sense, then, we say those are dead who have willingly put themselves under the authority of their Father and are ready for death. ”Quoted material from, ”The Christian in Complete Armour Daily Readings in Spiritual Warfare” by Gurnall and James S Bell. http://www.moodypublishers.com/pub_productDetail.aspx?id=41823&pid=53617