Posts Tagged ‘Suffering

17
Jul
18

What Matters Most

The apostle Paul suffered for his faith and his defense of it. He was imprisoned, beaten, flogged and nearly stoned to death. Yet he persevered in spreading the good news about Jesus and His love for the world. He didn’t complain about his trials, but instead he rejoiced in them. He even encouraged others to rejoice about his trials. He wrote:

But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. 18 So you too should be glad and rejoice with me. – Philippians 2:17-18 (NIV)

Could you do it? Could you rejoice in suffering for Jesus? If you could keep your eyes on what matters most, then you could. For Paul, sharing God’s good news about Jesus was what mattered most. Telling people about Jesus mattered most. Even if it cost him his life, he would rather die telling people about Jesus than live as he kept silent. The good news matters most because without it, people are lost.
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02
Jul
18

Persevering Through Persecution

If you read the book of Acts, you’ll see that Paul suffered all kinds of persecution for Jesus. When he wrote his letter to the Philippians, he was writing from prison. He told them that they would also suffer persecution for Christ. He wrote:
​For​ it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him, 30 since you are going through the same struggle you saw I had, and now hear that I still have. –  Philippians 1:29-30 (NIV)
Jesus said that the world hated Him and that the world would hate His followers, too. As we get nearer to His return, we’ll only see things get worse. We have to persevere though persecution may come and continue to follow Jesus, even if it one day costs us our lives. In the end, Jesus wins. Those who remain faithful with be rewarded. No matter what happens, stay faithful to Jesus and trust Him to empower you to persevere.
22
May
18

What’s Coming

One of the questions that is most often asked about faith in God and His Son, Jesus Christ, is about suffering. Why do we have to suffer? Why is there pain in this world? There seem to be so few answers when it comes to the question of suffering. Here’s the thing, the Word of God doesn’t sugarcoat the fact that there’s suffering. Paul wrote:

 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. – Romans 8:18 (NIV)

Paul admits that we suffer. This world is full of suffering and everyone suffers because the world is broken. The good news of faith in Christ is that God’s promises can help us persevere through suffering. That the temporary struggles and sufferings are nothing compared with the future glory that is coming for God’s people. Yes, we are going to suffer hardships, pain, persecution, disease and death. These are temporary. God promises that when we get to Heaven, these things will be no more. Suffering will be done away with when God’s glory is revealed to us, so hold on to His promises today.
15
Feb
18

Resisting The Devil

Peter said that our enemy, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion. He’s looking for someone to devour. Christ-followers of Peter’s day were undergoing persecution and tests of their faith. This suffering was seen as a result of the devil’s prowling. Peter said to stand firm in the faith instead of abandoning it. He wrote:

Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. – 1 Peter 5:9 (NIV)

Knowing that we are all in this together helps us to resist the devil and stand firm together. We have brothers and sisters around the world who are undergoing persecution for our faith and they’re not giving up. If anything, their faith is stronger. They don’t have the option of complacency. The enemy is on the prowl and things will only get worse for Christians before Christ returns. What will you do when the enemy comes prowling around trying to devour you? Will you walk away to avoid persecution or will you stand firm in the faith knowing that Jesus is coming soon?
06
Feb
18

Continue To Do Good

In 1 Peter 4, the Apostle Peter talks about those who suffer persecution for following Jesus. Persecution is inevitable. God, Peter says, will have the final say when He judges the world. God is able to use our suffering for good. He grows our faith in Christ through participation in His sufferings. Instead of retaliating, we should do something else. Peter wrote:

So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good. – 1 Peter 4:19 (NIV)

We should continue to do good. If you suffer for your faith, don’t throw in the towel. If you suffer persecution for Jesus, don’t give up. Keep your eyes on Him and continue to do good. Let God have the final say as you continue to do good. Continue to love your neighbor and your enemy. Continue to serve the poor and needy. Continue to pray for those who persecute you and forgive them. This is how we continue to do good and look more like our Leader, Jesus.
02
Feb
18

Bearing The Name Of Jesus

No one wants to suffer, right? No one wants to endure hardship and persecution. Sometimes we bring suffering on ourselves because of our sinful actions. Sometimes we suffer persecution because of our faith. Peter says that if we suffer because of our faith, we should praise God. He wrote:

If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler.16 However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name. – 1 Peter 4:15-16 (NIV)

The reason we praise God because we bear the name of Jesus is because it is the only name by which we are saved. When we stand before Him in judgment, we who have been clothed with Christ in baptism will be judged “Not guilty.” Those who are not bearing the name of Jesus will be condemned. When we come to Christ, we are given a new name – His name. It is a beautiful, wonderful and powerful name. It is the name above every other name. By God’s grace through faith in Jesus, it is our name now.
31
Jan
18

Suffering For Jesus

Jesus said in John 15 that the world would hate His followers because it hated Him first. Peter’s audience was being persecuted and they were experiencing that hate firsthand. Peter said this should not have come as a surprise to them. He wrote:

Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.13 But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. – 1 Peter 4:12-13 (NIV)

If we suffer for our faith, our sufferings are a participation in the sufferings of Jesus. In Acts 5, Peter and his fellow apostles were flogged for preaching in the name of Jesus. It says that they left rejoicing because they had been counted worthy to suffer disgrace for the Name of Jesus. Instead of getting angry over persecution, let us rejoice knowing that God sees it and He will have the final say. May we be counted worthy to suffer for Christ.



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