reflections on Christ - crucifixionThat’s right, you and I NEED to suffer more. The best thing that can happen is for us to have more hardship, difficulty, trial, and tribulation. If Satan had his way, we’d all have an easy life. In fact, he will hold the ladder for anyone willing to climb of the shelf. You leave him alone, and he will leave you alone. Serve Jesus and you’ll find yourself in hot water… quick.

Suffering for Christ is proof of salvation and a life of obedience to Christ. As it is written in Phil 1:29, “It has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in Him but also suffer for His sake…”

God grants every genuine Christian two things, salvation and suffering. You can’t have one without the other. Every person who is saved will suffer. Without suffering for being a Christian there is reason to question being saved (If Phil 1:29 is true).

We’re not talking about getting sick, but being poisoned for sharing Christ. We’re not talking about losing your job due to economics, but getting fired for standing for Christ. We’re not talking about losing friends due to personality differences, but being ostracized because you won’t compromise your faith to be politically correct. Suffering isn’t dying from old age, but being killed as a result of sharing Jesus as the only way of salvation. Consider what Peter wrote…

1 Pet 2:19 This is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly. 20 For what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God. 21 For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in His steps.

1 Pet 3:13 Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good? 14 But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled… 17 For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil.

1 Pet 4:12 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. 14 If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. 15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler. 16 Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name.

Being honest with ourselves, how many of our sufferings are due to living for Christ?