“SUFFERING”–THE MARKS OF GOD’S APPROVAL

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“Should we expect suffering?
“We are fools for Christ’s sake” – 1 Cor. 4:10
“Why do you expect to be accepted?”

— Leonard Ravenhill

THE SCHOOL OF SUFFERING

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“Are we learning love in the school of suffering? Are our hearts being mellowed and deepened by the summer heat of trial until the fruit of the Spirit-love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance-is ripening for the harvest of His coming, and our sufferings are easily borne for His sake? This is the school of love, and the lessons make Him unutterably more dear to our hearts and us to His. In this way only can we learn with Him the heavenly charity which suffers long, and is kind. We see that the very first and the very last features of the face of love, as delineated in Paul’s portrait of it (1 Corinthians 13), are marks of pain and patient suffering-suffers long, endureth all things. So let us learn in the school of love to suffer, to be kind and to endure all things. Surely it will not be hard to love through every circumstance when it is the heart of Jesus within us that will love and continue to love to the very end. I want the love that suffers and is kind, That envies not nor vaunts its pride of fame. Is not puffed up, does not discourteous act, Is not provoked, nor seeks its own to claim.”

— A B Simpson

Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

1 Corinthians 13:4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,

NO CROSS, NO CROWN

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“Salvation is undoubtedly all of grace. It is offered freely in the Gospel to the chief of sinners — without money and without price. But all who receive this great salvation, must prove the reality of their faith — by carrying their cross after Christ. They must not think to enter Heaven without trouble, pain, suffering, and conflict on earth. They must be content to take up . . .
the cross of DOCTRINE — holding a faith which the world despises; and
the cross of PRACTICE — the cross of living a life which the world ridicules as too strict, and righteous over much.

They must be willing . . .
to crucify the flesh,
to mortify the deeds of the body,
to fight daily with the devil,
to come out from the world, and
to lose their lives, if needful, for Christ’s sake.

These are hard sayings, but they admit of no evasion. The words of our Lord are plain and unmistakable. If we will not carry the cross — we shall never wear the crown!

— J C Ryle

Matthew 16:24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

Luke 14:27 And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.

Philippians 1:29 For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake;

2 Timothy 3:12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.

Acts 14:22 Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.

James 1:12 Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.

2 Corinthians 6:17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,

Romans 8:13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.

Galatians 5:24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.

SUFFER PERSECUTION

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“There are promises in the word of God that don’t seem much like promises to some folks. For instance, this one: “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” That means all whose purpose of heart it is to live godly lives in this present world shall (certainly) suffer persecution, as did their Lord. Maybe we contemplate such verses and think they should say something different: perhaps something like, “And all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall be appreciated for their goodness and rewarded with approval, good health and fortune.” There is Paul’s statement to the Philippians that declares, “For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake.” Perhaps we would be more comfortable if that were to read, “For unto you it is given…not only to believe on him, but also to be blessed with health, wealth and prosperity.” But it doesn’t say that; it says what it says.” (Emphasis added)

 

— Dick York

WHAT DO YOU TAKE PLEASURE IN?

2 Corinthians 12:10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

2 Timothy 3:12-13 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.

Acts 14:22 Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.

1 Thessalonians 3:3-4 That no man should be moved by these afflictions: for yourselves know that we are appointed thereunto. For verily, when we were with you, we told you before that we should suffer tribulation; even as it came to pass, and ye know.

Philippians 1:29 For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake;

Acts 5:41 And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.

1 Peter 4:12-16 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified. But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters. Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.

 

ARE YOU SUFFERING WITH HIM?

2 Timothy 2:12 If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:

Acts 14:22 Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.

Romans 8:17-18 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

1 Peter 4:13-16 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified. But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters. Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.