We all suffer many times in many ways. Does it ever count for something positive? Your body aches when you overdo the yard work, house work, or God forbid your exercise regimen. After you are done you may have a better looking yard, a cleaner house and an awesome body tone but is it worth the aches and pain?
The answer varies by the person. It is actually goal oriented. The attitude to be goal oriented is essential when it come to suffering as a Christian. You have to remember the impetus behind your spiritual suffering.
But if anyone suffers as a Christian, he is not to be ashamed, but is to glorify God in this name. (1 Peter 4:16 NASB)
1. We are not to be ashamed. That is exactly what the anti-christian population attempts to do whenever the truth of God’s Word is shared. You are labeled as a judgmental, unloving, holier than thou sacrilegious hypocrite.
You can be as tactful, diplomatic, and correctly sharing ONLY God’s Word yet still suffer as a Christian. Your intentions are completely righteous. Your attitude can be one of humility yet look out my brethren, suffering will come.
And with that warning let me open your eyes to the direction from which most suffering you receive as a Christian comes from. Watch out for the wolves in sheep clothing. Yeah, your fellow church members. If this isn’t bad enough sadly your biological family will take aim as well.
I know this advice comes across as negative and critical. I assure that is not my intent. I am sharing from my years of pastoral experience. There is a truth and sad reality to what I am saying.
Now the second point.
2. We are to glorify God.
How? Somebody tell me from a honest and simple perspective how you withstand attacks and ultimately glorify God?
A. Remember God will not put more on us than we are able to bear. 1 Cor. 10:13
B. Remember God promises to stay with us. Matt. 28:19-20
C. Remember nothing separates us from the love of God. Rom. 8:38-39
D. Trust God and let others know it. In You, O LORD, I have taken refuge; Let me never be ashamed; In Your righteousness deliver me. (Psalm 31:1 NASB)
E. When, not if, but when God gives you victory, be sure to credit Him!
These should get you started.
Until next time