Recently we were discussing suffering in our Sunday morning Bible study class.  This is a subject that almost everyone can identify with since there are times in life in which most people suffer from time to time.  This is part of life and is unavoidable.  Job 5:7 tells us, “Yet man is born to trouble, as the sparks fly upward.”  So, suffering is part of life.  Moreover, because we belong to Jesus and not to the world, the world will hate us and persecute us.  No servant is greater than his master, so we should expect no better treatment than what Jesus suffered.  As John 15:18-20 tells us,“If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you.” Additionally, if we are truly living a godly life, we will be persecutedAs 2 Timothy 3:12 teaches us, “Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.”  The reason for this suffering is not just because the world will hate us but also because our adversary, Satan, will hate us and will hate us even more if we are effective witnesses for Christ and if we live godly lives which reflect the Savior who has redeemed us and the Holy Spirit within us.

Despite this suffering, we will not walk alone, nor suffer alone during our various challenges.  God promises to be with us in our trials, and He promises that these trials will not overcome us.  In Isaiah 43:2, we are told, “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you.  When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you.”  God also promises to make a way for us to bear our suffering.  We are taught in 1 Corinthians 10:13, “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”  Moreover, the Bible teaches us that, even though we will have suffering in this world, we should find peace in Jesus and comfort, knowing that Christ has overcome the world.  As John 16:33 tells us, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”  


The Bible has quite a lot to say about suffering and about the promises God makes to us about our suffering.  Below is just a sampling of those promises.  First, God promises to remember all that we do in His name.  We are taught in Hebrews 6:10, “For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name…”  While this promise certainly includes our works which we do out of love to glorify Him, I believe that this promise also includes the suffering that we go through in His name.  God promises eternal glory in Heaven for our sufferings here on this earth.  We are told in Romans 8:18, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.”  The future glory that this verse refers to is the glory which we will have in heaven, the rewards for our faithful service and suffering in His name.  There are many other promises that God gives us concerning our suffering.  God promises to comfort and strengthen us after we suffer.  As 1 Peter 5:10 teaches us, “But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.  Finally, God promises that our suffering will develop our character.  God promises that our suffering will produce endurance, character, and hope, and He promises to bless us with His love, poured into our hearts in extra measure through the work of the Holy Spirit as a blessing to us for suffering in His name.  We are promised in Romans 5:3-5,  “And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; 4 and perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”  

I pray that you will be comforted in your suffering, and that you will experience in your suffering all the wonderful promises of God in your life. 
 


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07/12/2014 12:00am

nice posts

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    I'm a retired soldier, having spent 23 years of my life serving our country, actually 30 years when you count the reserve and National Guard time as well.  I believe in servant leaders, following the example of our Lord, and I believe in giving back to the troops once one has attained a certain status or level of success in life.  But I also believe in fighting back against corruption and incompetence wherever you find it if it hurts people.  Our national values were worth dying for.  They are also worth living for.  A man or woman can actually live a life by these principles of humility, service, love, duty, and honor, and have a significant impact on the world around them...if you have the dedication to see it through. 

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