"Good timber does not grow with ease - the stronger wind, the stronger trees."
This is something I've been pondering recently -why are things so hard sometimes? And this is what I come up with: Abraham had to climb Mount Moriah, and to be willing to sacrifice his only son in order to become like the Lord. Joseph Smith taught that a religion that does not require the sacrifice of all we have cannot produce the faith necessary for salvation (not an exact quote).
In other words - it has to be hard. If it's not, we cannot develop the strength we need, or the faith we need, to become as the Lord, and we, would that we become.
Fortunately, the Lord doesn't leave us despairing, but gives us hope, by revealing to us enough to confirm our faith and to help us carry on.
I really like this picture - I think it says it all. "The Voyage of Life: Manhood" by Thomas Cole.