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*SUFFERING FOR CHRIST *By Pastor Bob Hanna Empty *SUFFERING FOR CHRIST *By Pastor Bob Hanna

Post  Admin on Fri 19 Nov 2010, 2:26 pm

*SUFFERING FOR CHRIST *
*By Pastor Bob Hanna*
*
Wishful thinkers contend that it is not in God's plan that the saints
should suffer. Scripture teaches us otherwise. Part of our testimony for
Christ is that we will suffer. It is difficult to understand this
principle. In the scope of our human intellect it seems unjust, that
God's most faithful servants should suffer in greater degree than those
who show Him little or no respect.
This is where faith comes in. By faith we accept His own declaration
that He is just. And by faith we accept our destiny as sufferers. "For
unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only, to believe on
Him, but also to suffer for His sake" (PhiI. I:29). "The Spirit itself
beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: 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" (Romans
8:16,17). "Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall
suffer persecution" (2 Timothy 3:12).
In defending his firm stand against the teaching of circumcision, Paul
writes to the Galatians, "And I, brethren, if I yet preach circumcision,
why do I yet suffer persecution" (Galatians 5:11)? He is saying that the
reason he is suffering is that he is faithfully preaching God's truth.
Describing the rigors of his ministry Paul writes, "Even unto this
present hour we both hunger and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted,
and have no certain dwelling-place; and labor, working with our own
hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it" (1
Corinthians 4:11,12).
Paul takes suffering in stride, knowing that, as a servant of Christ it
is His portion. "Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in
reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions in distresses for Christ's
sake" (2 Corinthians 12:10). When Paul asked the Lord to relieve him of
the thorn in the flesh that Satan had afflicted him with, the Lord
refused. Paul's response was, "I will rather glory in my infirmities
that the power of Christ may rest upon me" (2 Corinthians 12:9).

Dear faithful Lord, I long to live by faith more and more as each day
dawns. I see that this is the only way I can access Your glorious grace.
Lord, I need Your grace constantly. No other resource will suffice. Too
often I am striving by my best performance. What weariness and failure
always results. Show me the areas of my life where I am not trusting in
You, that I might look to You anew. In Your gracious name I pray, Amen.
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