Here in America, we truly do experience very little hardship. Yes it comes in different shapes and forms to some. Some experience it verbally, in their home, on their job, or even within their own church. Yet when we look at what our brothers and sisters face in the church within the 10/40 window, we can see that we live an extremely blessed life. We are kings and queens in America. Paul tells us if we have food and clothing, be content. Yet we have much more than that. We have food, clothing, a shower, a bedroom, a kitchen, a job, etc.
I do believe hardships are coming to America. You can see already through the media the venom that can at times spew out against the name of Jesus. With the urgency to remove the Ten Commandments, and start laws allowing homosexuality, there is an antichrist spirit in the air. The hatred for Christians is already in the hearts of many..just hasn't manifested yet.
What is the true test that we are ready for such times? Do we live our entire life with preparation to die for the Gospel? No, we live out of a love and passion for Jesus Christ. However, I've heard some say that God will give you grace to undergo the persecution when the moment comes. I agree and disagree with that. Yes I believe there is a supernatural grace that comes, but Jesus constantly tells His disciples to "be watchful". What happened to the disciples as a result of not being watchful? They ran away in the time of crisis. The sheep scattered from their Shepherd when he was taken away from them. Peter ended up denying Jesus 3 times. And yet he said "Lord I'll die for you!"
Outward zeal, but no inward reality of his words.
I do believe we should be ready. But what is the true test that you're ready. YOU'RE ALREADY DEAD TO SELF. Are you dead to self-ambition? Are you dead to your ego? Are you dead to feeling superior than others? Are you dead to criticism? Are you dead to pride and selfishness? This world is crucified to you and you to the world. You are eternity minded, loving Jesus with everything inside of you and nothing holds you back from that. The man who is dead to self doesn't fear physical death, because in his mind he's already dead! To die is only gain. Eternity is his treasure, his pursuit, his higher calling. Jesus said those who lose your life will find it. There is inexpressible joy to the man who dies to self. The very life of Christ takes reign in the heart and is able be expressed through our mortal bodies. Romans 8:13 says it is THROUGH the Spirit we die to the flesh. We don't do it ourself, because flesh can't crucify flesh. We receive grace to do it. Blessed be the name of the Lord!