If you believe in God, that is sometimes when your trouble starts. One day Jesus said to his disciples, “Get into the boat and go to the other side.” They did what he said, and they hit a storm. It was not because they disobeyed that they hit a storm; it was because they obeyed that they hit a storm. Believing in God means putting yourself in situations that may cause you to say, “Why did I do that? I thought God blesses you when you do right.” Because of their faith, some people have stopped the mouths of lions, have won wars, have raised the dead, have had every kind of triumph in the world. But other people because of their faith in God, have suffered. They have been chased, and pushed, and hurt, and talked against, and imprisoned because of their faith. Faith is not a success story; faith is a story that says, “I take this up as my way of life.”
But I think the primary reason Paul had to preach the cross is because the cross tells us how God is. God identifies with human suffering; God comes to us and suffers with us, and that sympathy is extraordinarily powerful.
Fred B. Craddock from the, “Cherry Log Sermons” on Christianity, suffering, triumph and the cross.