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Saturday, October 22, 2016

Certainty of Suffering

I live in an area in which many teach that to know Christ is to be assured of healing, to live a materially prosperous life that it is just a matter of how much faith one has.  Those who hold and teach this, seem to have missed or have ignored several passages of Scripture and additionally defined success and prosperity differently than the Bible presents it.
Certainty of Suffering
One example is 1 Thessalonians 3:2 – 3.  Paul is writing the Thessalonian believers reminding them that they strengthened and encouraged their faith by reminding them that they would be afflicted, would suffer, and that it was their destiny to experience this.

Paul tells us in 2 Timothy 3:12 that if it is the case that we wish to live a godly life, we will be persecuted.  Paul is only repeating what Jesus said.  Look at John 15:18, the world hates Christ, so it will hate those who follow Him.  There are many more passages.

Bottom line?  This journey we started to follow Christ is consistently, passionately, and fully resisted by the enemy of our Lord.  Revelation 12:17 tells us that the dragon is committed to war against those who obey God and hold to the testimony of Christ.

So if you are following Christ.  Suffering is assured.


  1. Such a timely and much needed in America - and my life. If Romans 1 is true more difficult times are coming for believers in America, as some faithful bakery owners and likely many others are already starting to find out. There are many other fallacious teachings abroad and when we expect such like expecting to be rewarded for our obedience/faith or for doing the "best we can," suffer some real pain an all too likely result in one or both of two reactions: I blame God for unfairness for inflicting the pain on one hand, or imagine it must be punishment for my sin or failures (which it could be if unrepentant of some sin God has convicted me of).

    But for those of us seeking to walk with God, of repentance and obedience, it is an example of His love for us, His desire for our eternal good to transform our lives more into His own glorious image (Rom. 8:28-30; 2 Cor. 4:17,18).

    I find these words easy to assent to; I memorized these words (an others) long ago. I have reviewed them hundreds (literally) of times. I have taught these passages many times.

    But, when deeply challenged, which they always are, on this upward, rugged journey to our last breath, I struggle deeply and find my head is a long way from my heart.

    God is committed, for MY OWN good to do something about that chasm. Some have called this "severe mercy." Indeed it is, but it is from the most gracious hand in the universe.