Suffering

Romans 8:17&18
Now if we are children, then we are heirs-heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in His sufferings in order that we may also share in His glory. I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.

1Peter 2:21
To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in His steps.

Hebrews 11:25
Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season.

Isaiah 53:3
He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering.

How do you define suffering? Is your suffering waiting in long, endless lines at the DMV? Is your suffering physical pain and anguish? Is your suffering from an illness? Is your suffering from a mental illness or state of mind? No matter what the situation, we all suffer in one way or another. Most of the time, our suffering is brought on by ourselves, consequences of our own actions.

If suffering is a part of life, how de we turn our sufferings into blessings? The answer is, we suffer for the sake of Jesus Christ. Jesus himself was persecuted, beat, spit on, mocked, and so on. He told us that if He himself suffered, we would also suffer for His name sake. If you aren't suffering for the sake of Jesus, you may want to re-evaluate your Christian walk. If you're hiding behind stained glass windows, you're not following Jesus' command to go out and be a witness for Him. As we carry our responsibilities as Christians, spreading the great news of Jesus Christ, we are going to suffer ridicule and persecution as Jesus did. When we do, our persecution glorifies Him and He glorifies us. When we suffer for His name's sake, we not only draw people to Him, but we open the flood gates of blessings. When you do follow Jesus' command to go out and be witnesses to Him, there is no good thing that He will keep from you. The Bible says, "many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord shall deliver him out of them all." In 2Timothy 3:12, Paul wrote, "All who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution." We should not be surprised when suffering comes our way. Instead, we should direct our lives toward being messengers of God's word, then our suffering will be righteous and godly instead of suffering from the evil forces of this world.

The next time you're feeling down and out about whatever worldly suffering you might be enduring, refuse to submit to it and get out in the streets where the action is, proclaim Jesus and His gospel, then your suffering will come from persecution of Christ and you will be honored and glorified because of it. If we live a life of submission to God and resisting the devil, we can expect to be maligned, misunderstood, and even taken advantage of. There is a purpose for each of these sufferings. It is to restore you and make you strong, firm , and steadfast. (1Peter5:6, 9, &10)

May you always find joy in the trial and suffering that you endure for the sake of Jesus Christ!!! Amen

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