Wednesday, July 19, 2017

THE SUFFERINGS OF CHRIST!

For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ.
2 Corinthians 1:5

What are "the sufferings of Christ?"

When we suffer for Christ, we are suffering for Jesus' sake or the sake of His holy name!

We may suffer for His SAKE!

We may be suffering because God has called us to a task or place in which we give up something for something much greater.

For example, God may call you to the mission field, or to work for far less pay locally in the ministry. Your family may call you up and brag about how they just received promotions and  how they are now making huge salaries. They are partaking of all the luxuries of life while you are toiling in a hot climate or living from paycheck to paycheck. But remember - your suffering is for Christ's sake!

We may suffer through PERSECUTION!

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

Normally, people are not persecuted for wearing a Jesus button or going to church. It is when we "live godly" that we are persecuted.

The level of what we call persecution, in America, is often at a much lower level. This is a generalization, of course, but consider that in many countries, when a person confesses Christ, he or she is doing so at the risk of being tortured or killed!

Suffering is subjective!

We all suffer in some way. Some who think their steak was undercooked consider themselves to be suffering. On the other end of the spectrum, others are imprisoned, being tortured or enduring great trials for Christ's sake. 

All suffering cannot be defined as "the sufferings of Christ." 

We may simply be reaping what we sow in some cases. Suffering comes to those who don't follow Christ as well as the who do. Likewise, blessings come to both.

The Good News About Suffering!

The good news is that when we do endure "the sufferings of Christ," God has our back!

Read the Scripture again:

For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ.

God will ALWAYS come to comfort us when we are suffering in Him, for Him, or for His name!

If we are suffering outside of Christ, He is calling us to come to Him, and to submit to Him,
ALWAYS ready to bring us into His family, and receive the comfort that His children receive.

But remember - WE MUST COME!