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Day 81: Paradigm of Suffering

Posted by undergroundchurch on January 1, 2016


Scriptural Nuggets Daily DevotionScriptural Nuggets Daily Devotion

“For I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name’s sake.”

What would you say if God saved you only to tell you, “Oh, and you will suffer a lot for me”?  Suffering is probably the highest calling one can have in the Kingdom of God. It emulates what Jesus did for us.

So they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name. – Acts 5:41

The early church understood that suffering for Jesus was something to rejoice about. Today, we rejoice when we are blessed with a new car or extra cash. This is upside down from the original intent. Suffering brings us closer to Jesus. People that suffer together have a special bond.

The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. Rom 8:16,17

It is “almost” a guarantee that we will suffer. Suffering is a step toward being glorified with Christ. It produces in us patience and that produces character, which produces hope, and hope in Christ doesn’t disappoint. Romans 5:3-5. Do not be caught up in teachings that equate the blessings of God with success, prosperity or worldly accolades.

For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake – Philippians 1:29

Paul looks at suffering as a gift granted on behalf of Christ. Don’t be fooled into thinking that God wants you to be happy. God is more interested in your Character than your comfort. He wants you to be full of Joy, which comes through peace with God in Christ Jesus.

Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.- 2 Timothy 3:12

The less sin, the more suffering from persecution. Your friends, family and Satan himself wants to draw you down into the sin they struggle with – pride, selfish ambition and the lusts after this world. So as you walk away from them, you will definitely hear it from those still drowning in it.

For what credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently? But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God. For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps:- 1 Peter 2:20, 21

When you suffer AND your are in the wrong, it is no profit to you, but suffering for doing good is a crown…

But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you are blessed. “And do not be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled. 1 Peter 3:14

… and a blessing

Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God. – 1 Peter 4:1,2

The greatest harm to the understanding of suffering is the American mentality. If we look people doing Church without the trappings of a prosperous nation, we will see more clearly. For example, according to Francis Chan, the 5 characteristics of the underground church in China are:

  • Prayer
  • Reading the Word
  • Missional Mindset
  • Regular Expectation of the Supernatural
  • Embraced suffering for the Glory of Christ
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