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When Christians Suffer


Before you read this, please read 2nd Corinthians 1:5-11

Now, we can ask ourselves, what insight do we obtain from these verses regarding the suffering (persecution?) of the believer:-

There is a relationship between the suffering of the church and the suffering of Christ! V5 For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.

We are Partakers of Christ’s suffering! The sufferings of Christ abound in us! Christ suffered, and we must expect to suffer as he did! That’s why we must are told to take up our CROSS AND FOLLOW THE Lord! Paul tells us that we are to actively seek the suffering of Christ. Philip. 3:10. I would even go so far as to say that if you are not suffering for the Lord, then there is something seriously wrong with your profession of faith! But there is an opposite side to this:-
Christ Partakes of our Suffering! Paul would have known this. Think of his conversion, when he fell to the ground and he heard the voice saying, “Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?” And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest.. Acts 9:4-5. Do you see, when Paul was persecuting the church, making the church suffer, he was inflicting injury on Christ Himself! Jesus takes our suffering intensely personally! The writer to the Hebrews 4:15. We are described in 1st Corinthians as ‘the Body of Christ.’ Christ is the head of his church – his body, and he knows and feels our suffering!

Now, this is a great source of comfort to the Christian. We are suffering for Christ, and as great as those sufferings are, so great is the consolation that we have in him!

God has a purpose in our suffering!

We suffer, so that we can help others! And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation. 2 Cor. 1:6. We are comforted by the Lord, so that we can comfort others!
We suffer so that we will trust in Christ even more! For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life Paul had been in trouble – again. He had been in Asia Minor. He had been PRESSED OUT OF MEASURE. It was as if a great weight of suffering had been placed upon him, and its weight could not be measured – it was unbearable, What was the result of his suffering for the Lord? Was it to give up? Was it to lie down and compromise with the ungodly authorities of this world? Was it to moderate his message or his speech? None of those things! It was to trust in the Lord even more! But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead:
We suffer, to learn the faithfulness of God! When we suffer, we will draw consolation from the fact that God has personally intervened in our lives in the past, that his purpose is being worked out in our lives right now, and in the fact that our future is already predetermined! We are his, and he will not permit us to be lost! Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us; 2 Cor. 1:8-10.
We suffer, so that our prayer life will be deepened! The more we suffer, the more we need prayer. Sometimes, when we are suffering, we don’t have the strength to pray. Sometimes our minds are affected by our illness. Sometimes, our prayer life is dulled by the effects of pain relieving drugs. But we still need prayer, and that is where collective prayer is so important! 2 Cor. 1:11

At the beginning of his letter to Corinth, Paul teaches us about praise, and encourages us to persevere – to continue to trust the Lord, and to walk with him and to pray, no matter how fierce the suffering that this world may heap upon us!

From → Encouragement

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