The demands of discipleship can be very difficult. The strength that is needed to continue on the chosen path despite its hardships can come only from God. Paul assures us that the gracious gift that God offers us is far greater that the transgressions brought on by sin. This gracious gift is Jesus Christ himself. The gift exceeds anything for which we might have hoped. He is the comfort that will carry us through our disappointments. He is the strength that will enable us to endure the misunderstanding and hardship that come with discipleship. We are called to acknowledge him before the world, and we are promised that if we do, he will acknowledge us before God. There is light even in the midst of darkness. There is hope even in the midst of suffering.