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WHY MUST I SUFFER?

Updated on May 20, 2008

Enduring To The End

Persecution and suffering is a very real part of the Christian experience. To be a Christian it is necessary to understand this truth.

This article is taken from my book 'Awaken O'Sleeper'.

Listen to what the Lord told Ananias, a disciple at Damascus; but the Lord said to him, "Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel; for I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name." Acts 9:15, 16

Living in a world that is permeated with evil, we should not be surprised when we have to endure much suffering. We, being empowered from on high, are called upon to be living examples to the world. Some might argue that suffering for any reason does not make any sense. Nevertheless, we all know as long as we are in this world we will experience a certain amount of suffering. Since this is quite evident, there must be some distinction between suffering as a believer and suffering as a non-believer. What is that distinction?

The Apostle Paul tells us that suffering, in the Christian life, is suppose to produce something. Something that would be recognizable in our lives. Writing to the Christians in Rome Paul had this to say, "More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance." Romans 5:3 RSV

Paul tells us that suffering should produce patience. Depending on how we deal with suffering, and where our source of strength is, will determine whether we become bitter or patient. God has a plan for you and me. He wants us to be aware of the future glory, a sure hope. He canonized that hope for us in His written word saying this: "I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us." Romans 8:18. We are to look toward the glory, not at the suffering. The suffering is merely an opportunity, not a tragic punishment.

God, through His Church, proves to the world that enduring through all kinds of hardships, persecutions and sufferings, and never compromising His word or conforming to the ways of the world is not just a hope, but a 'proven' hope. From the very conception of the Church, it has been suffering persecution. Paul said, "For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions and calamities; for when I am weak, then I am strong." II Corinthians 12:10. We as believers in Christ show our dependency on God, and prove that our hope is in Him by our willingness to suffer persecution for his sake, not allowing anything or anyone to deviate us from our goal, which is to be imitators of Jesus Christ. He is our perfect example.

He suffered so much for us, we could never repay Him for all that he did. All we can do is show that it was not all done in vain: Instead, in everything we do we show that we are God's servants by patiently enduring troubles, hardships, and difficulties. We have been beaten, jailed, and mobbed; we have been overworked and have gone without sleep or food. By our purity, knowledge, patience, and kindness we have shown ourselves to be God's servants - by the Holy Spirit, by our true love, by our message of truth, and by the power of God. We have righteousness as our weapon, both to attack and to defend ourselves." II Corinthians 1:4-7 TEV

"We must go through many hardships to enter the Kingdom of God," they said. Acts 14:22b NIV

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    • Wehzo profile imageAUTHOR

      Nathaniel Stalling Jr 

      9 years ago from Detroit, MI

      Thank you RGraf for you gracious insights, and contribution to this subject. Suffering does indeed make us stronger.

      May you and your family have a blessed holiday.

    • RGraf profile image

      Rebecca Graf 

      9 years ago from Wisconsin

      While we are in the suffering, it is hard to see how it could benefit us. But when think of the past and recall the Words He gave us, we have to be reminded that the suffering is there to make us stronger.

    • profile image

      Wehzo 

      10 years ago

      Thank you einron for your contribution to my hubs. I will indeed read your new hub "Tithes and Charity."

    • einron profile image

      einron 

      10 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, CANADA

      Very true that we must hold on to our faith to the end. Our life is like running a race. Unless you continue on to the end, you cannot win the race.

      Glad to meet another Christian. Please read my new hub, "Tithes and Charity."

    • Wehzo profile imageAUTHOR

      Nathaniel Stalling Jr 

      10 years ago from Detroit, MI

      Thank you Rob, I appreciate your continued contributions to my hubs. I pray that the chord that was struck was one that harmonizes with your commitment to Christ. God Bless you always.

    • Rob Jundt profile image

      Rob Jundt 

      10 years ago from Midwest USA

      I enjoy your hubs a lot. Your words here struck a chord at the right time for me. Blessings always! R.J.

    • profile image

      Wehzo 

      10 years ago

      Thank you so much G-Ma Johnson for your encouraging words. May the Lord continue to bless you and your family.

    • G-Ma Johnson profile image

      Merle Ann Johnson 

      10 years ago from NW in the land of the Free

      yes and I do believe that..I offer my pain up to God for  all Jesus suffered for us. we do gain strength and patience and understanding through our suffering.  And how we handle it is of the most importance..to God to ourselves and for the sake of others. You are a good man and thank you for this hub..God Bless  G-Ma :o) hugs

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