If you embrace suffering for the glory of Christ you are unstoppable and will bear abundant fruit in this life and receive great rewards in the next.
We are fast approaching the time of Jesus’ second coming when He has warned us that persecution of Christians will escalate. It is therefore important that we build our relationship with the Holy Spirit. He is our counsellor, teacher and comforter. He will guide our every step if we ask Him. With the coming persecution in mind, it is a good time to reflect on the following Scriptures on suffering.
The latter half of Lamentations chapter 3 shows the purpose behind the book’s graphic depictions of sorrow and suffering. It is to produce hope in the God whose compassion is “new every morning” and whose faithfulness is great even to a people who have been condemned for their own unfaithfulness.“
Peter explains in (1 Peter) how Christians should respond when they suffer because of their belief in Jesus. Called the “apostle of hope,” Peter’s primary message is to trust the Lord, live obediently no matter what your circumstances, and keep your hope fixed on God’s ultimate promise of deliverance. Suffering is to be expected, but it is temporary and yields great blessings for those who remain steadfast.
Paul’s opponents were trying to undermine his work, claiming that his suffering proved he was not a true apostle. Paul responds that his suffering highlights his dependence on Christ, as it points to Christ’s strength rather than his own (2 Corinthians 11:23-31).
“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus“ 2 Timothy 1:8-9
“As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.” 2 Timothy 4:5
“Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh, I am filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church,” Colossians 1:24
“Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” Romans 5:3-4
“For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.” 2 Corinthians 1:5
“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God.” Romans 8:18-19
“That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and may share His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.” Philippians 3:10-11
“Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord, is at hand. Do not grumble against one another, brothers, so that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the door. As an example of suffering and patience, brothers, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.” James 5:8-10
“Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.” 1 Peter 5:8-10
“This will be your opportunity to bear witness. Settle it therefore in your minds not to meditate beforehand how to answer, for I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which none of your adversaries will be able to withstand or contradict. You will be delivered up even by parents and brothers and relatives and friends, and some of you, they will put to death. You will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But not a hair of your head will perish. By your endurance, you will gain your lives.“ Luke:21:13-17