What the Rav said:
The more difficult it is, the greater the reward. ‘Lefum tza’ara agrah’ – according to the suffering is the reward (Pirkei Avot).
The more difficult it is for a person to learn, the more difficult it is for him to pray, lefum tza’ara agrah. The reward is all the more great. And, slowly, slowly, he begins to make progress.
All the more so, that he needs to strengthen himself and overcome and believe in himself, and to believe that even his small avodah (service of Hashem) and Torah learning are very precious to Hashem Yitbarach.
Because Hashem doesn’t count the pages [of Gemarah that you learn], he counts the time and he counts the effort, how much you yearned, and how much you sweated…
For those of us not born into observant families, and for those who are still trying to crack our heads over Hebrew texts, Gemarah, Rashi, Tosfot (???!!!!), it can too easily become pretty disheartening.
Especially, if we’re trying to learn in a Beit Midrash where the locals are flying through some piece of Gemarah / Zohar / who-knows-what like a knife through butter.
So, the Rav comes to tell us that easy is not special. Hard is where it’s at.
When something is difficult, Hashem gets sooooo much pleasure from his children who are breaking their heads just trying to read the words correctly.
We can’t see it now, but when we get upstairs, those difficult times when you struggled to try to learn and you struggled to try to pray will be the most precious moments of all.