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Proper Suffering

Updated: Feb 6

We live in a very me world right now and the draw to become woke martyrs is so strong in the Christian community. In this drawing, we begin to think that the Christian life is nothing but suffering, and embracing that suffering is a sign of Christian maturity. Believe it or not, there is a wrong kind of suffering and a right kind of suffering. In 1 Peter the apostle Peter speaks to suffering because we bear the name of Christ. Jesus said we would be persecuted for righteousness sake and that we are blessed when that happens. But keep in mind not all suffering is in a manner that pleases God and the suffering we bring on ourselves to prove we are more Godly or righteous is usually "self" induced and unnecessary. 1 Peter 4:19 says it this way 19 So if you are suffering in a manner that pleases God, keep on doing what is right, and trust your lives to the God who created you, for he will never fail you.

We are compelled by the Holy Spirit to serve God and share the message of salvation given to us by Jesus. In a lost and dying world, there will be persecution, and at times, suffering for living for Jesus. Some dead people don't want to come to life and the life that is light of men is very intimidating and of course, convicting. Believe it or not, some people do not like to be called sinners. It doesn't change the truth of Romans 3:23 23 For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.

When I heard the gospel message it caused me to pause and evaluate where I was in the sin category and I realized I was found "wanting" and short of the goal to attain heaven and I had a crisis of belief. In this crisis, I had to decide "Can I admit I am a sinner?" I also had to understand and accept by faith the following scripture. Romans 6:23 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord. In the midst of this crisis of belief I surrendered by will to God and admitted my sin condition, repented, and received Jesus by faith and my eternal home was heaven from there on.

Suddenly I was compelled to share what I had and the prompt was from the new person in charge. The Holy Spirit! Then I needed to decide, "Can I share my newfound faith with others? It was at that point the crisis of belief helped me realize I was stepping into a faith journey that at times would cause true suffering for the cause of Christ, per the Bible. In God's Word, the suffering is well documented by examples of others who are followers of The Way and suffering for their faith. The trials of living this life on a fallen earth are many, and God's promises show us He is taking care of His children despite all of the problems we face. Needless blame on our heavenly Father is misdirected at times and the testing of our faith that produces endurance is designed to strengthen us so we handle the suffering of our "faith."

We are much different than other religions because we are in a relationship, not a religious experience, and in this relationship, we have a heavenly Father who is on watch at all times. Protecting His children. Guiding His children. Fulfilling His promises all along the way and what suffering might come in life, He is there proving faithful to help and supply our needs and believe it or not wants. Jesus tells us to keep on asking, keep on seeking, and keep on knocking and God will supply what we need, and I believe Him. Matthew 7:“Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. This scripture is real and true, but some will miss the door because they are not looking for the door. Usually, this is because they have given up. Their faith has weakened and they have succumbed to living their life as fallen people do, and not like those who have been redeemed. Some charlatans along the way have cheapened our minds about how God provides for His children, caused doubt to creep into our faith, and caused many to give up.

The result is a world of "believers" who are allowing their faith to be deconstructed and become weak or non-existent and even fall away from that faith. Much of this problem has been the result of misguided Christians who have fallen prey to the ways of the world, and we are reaping the results. The writer of Proverbs spoke to the attitude we should have about all of this in Proverbs 3: Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.

It all still comes back to our faith. We need to ask ourselves. Does God want to give me His best, or His worst? My faith compels me to continue to trust God for His best! So I will keep on believing and trusting in God's promises and acknowledge those promises are real and are good. James 1:17 Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow.

Why suffer when God reaffirms that all the suffering was done on a criminal cross and the one suffering was not us, but Jesus!! We live in the victory of that sacrifice and our faith grows every day when we believe in God's promises. Not in our suffering.

Keep on believing for God to construct a strong faith, so you won't allow the enemy to deconstruct your faith. God is on His throne and He is still working!! All of the Proper Suffering was done over 2000 years ago and that suffering is unmatched by any other.

The Pilgrimage Continues

David Warren

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