We must die to ourselves and part of that is dying to a need for acceptance and approval. Of the many idols that we as well meaning but human followers of Jesus put before God, the need for acceptance and approval is a tough one to get beyond. A large part of the book of Job is Job dying to nonsensical ideas about God as espoused by his friends and finding himself very isolated as a result of his suffering not a result of unrighteousness . His God ordained journey and revelation brought on a separation from these men who were very good friends of Job.
So the negative is we reject popular ideas and concepts and find ourselves ostracized and alone , but the positive is that we know the truth and the truth sets us free.
We have an identity in Christ and we have an identity here on earth . When Jesus addressed the people in his hometown at the synagogue he asserted His identity as the One by whom Isaiah 61 was fulfilled; the people who had been very accepting to this point all of a sudden felt the need to assert their understanding of Jesus' identity ; He's the carpenter's boy and therefore couldn't possibly be the incarnation of Isaiah 61. Ultimately the contrast between identities became total as Jesus professed to be the Son of God and king and the peopled declared Him blasphemer and devil.
We die to self that we might totally inhabit the identity assigned and gifted to us. There is nothing in our lives that qualifies us as sons of God and brothers of Jesus. Our identity is 100% dependent on our believing Gods word. Abram was declared an exalted father which is pretty good and it's possible and I can maybe accomplish it in my own strength and cunning. But if God declares me father of many nations then I must totally depend on the power of God to inhabit that identity, since I haven't been able to have any children with Sara. That power is made available through faith in the One who proclaimed it. There is effort on our part required, however; we can't forget that Abraham waited 25 yrs and Jesus was led into the wilderness to withstand the lies of Satan that they might embrace and assert their identity against the adversary.
Besides the waiting time either strengthening or destroying your faith, it causes you to have to defend your position. When Jesus heard from God to delay His trip to Lazarus' deathbed it put Him in a position to cause even His most ardent supporters to doubt Him and question Him which appeared to hurt Him deeply and probably gave Satan an opportunity to tempt Him w/ doubt- was that God you heard ? - or fear that maybe Lazarus wouldn't walk out of that tomb - so Jesus had to defend His mission and God ordained objective against the adversary. Position defending is like a blowtorch that burns the dross off of your truths; it burns off nonsense to where what hardens is true in your mind . Jesus said most everybody receives the Word with joy and enthusiasm, but as hardships and persecutions come, that word and its tender and shallow roots are lost. Those who rise up to protect and defend their word enable their roots to grow strong.
And finally just as a small child is raised and disciplined, so are we. We know Hebrews tells us that legitimate sons are chastised , even scourged by a proper Father that they might be "sharers of His holiness". Jesus was the firstborn of many; His life on earth was an example to us and He learned obedience through the things He suffered. An alternate translation might be, " He learned obedience through His life and experiences...", not necessarily only the very difficult things He endured. Our lives are totally choreographed that our ETERNAL identities be perfected by God, Himself! We must believe as He believes, no matter what people who don't like you think, or even what your friends and family think! Who does God say you are?Theo