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I’m Glad You Asked – Theology of Suffering

Mar 26, 2023
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Theology of Suffering

2 Timothy 3:10-12 says, “…all who deserve to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” This isn’t talking about someone saying something ugly to you because you are a Christian. This is speaking about life and death for the sake of the gospel. Every month, 322 Christians are killed, 214 church properties are destroyed, and 772 forms of violence are committed. What is persecution comes to the United States? How do we respond?

Leonard Ravenhill observed, “The early Church was married to poverty, prisons, and persecutions. Today, the church is married to prosperity, personality, and popularity.”

Here are 5 actions Jesus challenges us to take when we are persecuted:

  1. Rejoice and be glad (Matthew 5:10-12)
  2. Love your enemies (Matthew 5:44)
  3. Pray for those who persecute you (Matthew 5:44)
  4. Deny yourself – say no to self centerdness (Mark 8:34-38)
  5. Take up your cross – be willing to physically die (Mark 8:34-38

Jesus’ last words on suffering came from His charge from the Upper Room. He said in John 15:20, “If they persecute me, they will also persecute you.”

The apostle Paul shares his experience of persecution and pain in 2 Corinthians 11:23-29. Paul stayed committed to Jesus because he never forgot how much he had been forgiven and loved.

Remember, we were build for more than just this world. Suffering for the gospel is extremely hard, and many lose their life for the sake of Jesus. BUT…this life is a temporary home for a little while. We must keep perspective. The church grows during times of great persecution. Will we be ready if and when it comes?

Pray for persecuted Christians around the world. A great resource is The Voice of the Martyrs.