GOD'S PURPOSE IN SUFFERING FOR CHRISTIANS,
Suffering for Being a Christian
However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name.
But it is no shame to suffer for being a Christian. Praise God for the privilege of being called by his name!
WHEN WE COME TO UNDERSTAND GOD'S PURPOSE IN SUFFERING FOR CHRISTIANS, (AND, IN FACT, EVERYONE), NOT ONLY DOES IT FIT INTO AND COMPLEMENT OUR UNDERSTANDING OF HIS AWESOME PLAN OF SALVATION FOR US, BUT IT GRANTS US A DEEPER COMPREHENSION OF "CHRIST IN US" AND THE MYSTERY OF HOW WE ARE BEING CHANGED FROM GLORY TO GLORY.
Suffering is not an optional extra for Christians. It "comes with the turf". However, don't get discouraged by that. Understood on the natural (carnal) level that would be a negative thought, but understood with spiritual comprehension it is the opposite.
For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you. He is your example, and you must follow in his steps.
Why me? Why now? What is God doing? Suffering is a tool God uses to get our attention and to accomplish His purposes in our lives. It is designed to build our trust in the Almighty, but suffering requires the right response if it is to be successful in accomplishing God’s purposes. Suffering forces us to turn from trust in our own resources to living by faith in God’s resources.
Suffering is not in itself virtuous, nor is it a sign of holiness. It is also not a means of gaining points with God, or of subduing the flesh (as in asceticism). When it is possible, suffering is to be avoided. Christ avoided suffering unless it meant acting in disobedience to the Father’s will.
“In the day of prosperity be happy, But in the day of adversity consider—God has made the one as well as the other so that man may not discover anything that will be after him” (Eccl. 7:14)
Causes of Suffering
We suffer because we live in a fallen world where sin reigns in the hearts of men.
We suffer because of our own foolishness. We reap what we sow (Gal. 6:7-9).
We sometimes suffer because it is God’s discipline. “For those whom the Lord loves he disciplines, and he scourges every son He receives” (Heb. 12:6).
We may suffer persecution because of our faith—especially when we take a stand on biblical issues, i.e., suffering for righteousness sake (2 Tim. 3:12).
Neither of the above extremes are God's will for his children. Ultimately, our understanding of suffering will depend on our concept of God. Is he either a remote "Father Christmas" figure up in the clouds whose only contact with us is to hand out goodies or a wrathful angry God waiting to punish us for each misdemeanor?
The truth is that God is love. His purpose in making all of creation is that he might pour out his love towards us human beings whom he has made in his image to be his children. He wants our very best and nothing will prevent him from giving that to us, the objects of his divine love. Everything in creation is working towards that end.
God is in control of the cosmos. Nothing has happened or ever will happen that God has not specifically allowed and ultimately caused to happen. The buck stops with God. And everything is working for our good.
This is how the Apostle Paul lived
"We put no stumbling block in anyone's path, so that our ministry will not be discredited. Rather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses; in beatings, imprisonments and riots; in hard work, sleepless nights and hunger; in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love; in truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left; through glory and dishonor, bad report and good report; genuine, yet regarded as impostors; known, yet regarded as unknown; dying, and yet we live on; beaten, and yet not killed; sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything."(2 Corinthians 6:3-10)
GOD'S PURPOSE IN SUFFERING FOR CHRISTIANS, Reviewed by Kannuri JOEL on 04:51:00 Rating: