Saturday, September 7, 2013

After You Have Suffered





For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake; Having the same conflict which ye saw in me, and now hear to be in me.
Philippians 1:29-30







Suffering will make you feel as if you are alone in this world;  that no one else is going through or have gone through what you are going through.  But what you should know is that when you suffer according to the will of God, you are not alone. Many other believers have and are experiencing similar if not the same battles that you are.   Peter talked a lot about suffering and was very clear on the fact that as believers in Christ and doers of His will, we will suffer:

Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;  1 Peter 4:1

Every believer should come to understand that our tests and trials come to make us stronger; to grow us in God; to perfect (mature) us; to prove us; to get us to a place where we won't go further than where our integrity is capable of handling.  On the flip side, our living for our Lord, Jesus Christ, causes us to automatically become an enemy of the adversary.  Peter explains it very well when he states: 


Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walking about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.   I Peter 5:8-9

Storms of life are inevitable and uncontrollable, as illustrated by the parable of the two houses: 

Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.  Matthew 7:24-27

Storms will come to those who have built their lives upon God's Word as well as those who have not. The foundation of a man's life is what will determine the outcome of the storm.

Suffering is to be expected as part of the will of God:

Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.  II Timothy 3:12


For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on Him, but also to suffer for His sake. Philippians 1:29


Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer:  Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you;  II Thessalonians 1:5


For verily, when we were with you, we told you before that we should suffer tribulation; even as it came to pass and ye know.  I Thessalonians 3:4

Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake.  Matthew 24:9


But before all these, they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name's sake.  Luke 21:12


Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.   John 15:20

Now this does not mean that you make yourself suffer believing it would be pleasing to God. God is never pleased when people suffer.  To purposefully make yourself suffer (an act called asceticism) is a sin.

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.  Ephesians 2:8-9

Many people try to do this to try to appease God's anger or make themselves appear holy or religious before men.  But the appeasement of God came through the blood of Jesus Christ.  

Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;  Romans 3:25

God does, however, take the tragedy of suffering when it does touch your life and redeem it for good.

Part of the follow up plan in establishing early churches was to teach believers that they would experience suffering. This is missing in many churches today:

Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.  Acts 14:22

The call of Jesus to followers is one of denial and suffering:

And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.  Matthew 10:38

Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.  Matthew 16:24

And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.  Mark 8:34 


Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.  Mark 10:21


If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and 
follow me.  Luke 9:23


And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.
  Luke 14:27

Jesus called believers to a life of denial, suffering, and the cross because of the powerful potential of the fellowship of His suffering.

Resurrection power and the power of His suffering are like the positive and negative forces of electricity used in modern societies. It takes both the positive and negative to create power.

Out of our suffering, we emerge stronger, wiser, more dedicated, more determined to be all that God would have us to be as well as all that He would have us do as we realize that we are being directed to our true purpose in God!

Peter states it so well when he lets us know:



But the God of all grace, 
who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, 
after that ye have suffered a while, 
make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.
1 Peter 5:10




(Biblical Studies)


10/14/14

02/04/16
03/14/17
10/08/18

3 comments:

  1. Praise the Lord! This is beautiful, I so love how you gathered all the verses (the powerful word) then broke it all down to in depth of understanding. I agree, as Christians we will suffer as you've pointed it all out in the word which says it all. Glad you pointed out how the Lord has a master plan when it comes to sufferings and strife, etc., that he will turn it all somehow into our good and valuable lessons and tests of faith and strength. Times like these are the times we begin to realize just how strong or weak in Christ we really are...In troubled times, we'll just have to hold on, trust, have faith and believe in his word which never fails. Everything you've pointed out, is so on point, praise the holy name of Jesus! Thanks and I thank God for you and your spirit to serve and deliver, in the precious name of Jesus.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Praise the Lord! This is beautiful, I so love how you gathered all the verses (the powerful word) then broke it all down to in depth of understanding. I agree, as Christians we will suffer as you've pointed it all out in the word which says it all. Glad you pointed out how the Lord has a master plan when it comes to sufferings and strife, etc., that he will turn it all somehow into our good and valuable lessons and tests of faith and strength. Times like these are the times we begin to realize just how strong or weak in Christ we really are...In troubled times, we'll just have to hold on, trust, have faith and believe in his word which never fails. Everything you've pointed out, is so on point, praise the holy name of Jesus! Thanks and I thank God for you and your spirit to serve and deliver, in the precious name of Jesus.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am honored and humbly serve God in the sharing of His word to encourage and uplift others in Jesus name! Thank you so much for making my effort feel worthwhile!

      Delete

Comments are welcome and encouraged!