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Author Topic: Suffering vs Suffering for Christ  (Read 6044 times)

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jacobbsladdr

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Suffering vs Suffering for Christ
« on: September 14, 2009, 06:21:11 PM »

Question:

Are we called to suffer for Christ because we follow Christ and people know it or does God call on us to suffer in general, i.e., our lives while striving to be like Christ will cause us suffering.  Day to day suffering (bad things happening, trials and tribulations occurring) are not the same as suffering for our belief in the truth of the Scriptures and because people know and persecute us for it?

Does that make sense?

-JL
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yudonsay

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Re: Suffering vs Suffering for Christ
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2009, 08:49:46 PM »

An important part of following God is to become humble and teachable. This then allows us to learn and avoid suffering for lack of wisdom, it may not even be for sin but for lack of wisdom.  This is a process and some areas take time.  If we had absolutely no control of this part of our lives (argue this as a perception only if you wish) then the apostles would have given no warnings or direction for them (and us) to follow.  I certainly suffered through many periods from both making bad decisions and also suffered avoiding bad decisions, I lost friends and money and blamed God for not telling me and had to learn not to do those evil things and to accept the consequences as from God and to go through the sufferings I created by taking responsibility for them fully, this was very painful.  Through this I now live a simple life uncomplicated by sinful acts I once did.
If you go to a church organisation and are a person who intensely seeks God and has an opinion differing from the norm/doctrine then you may well suffer similarly to Jesus when you speak these things and do not change to their expectations.  Having your own mind and knowing why you believe the things you do and understand the process that brought you there is rare in churches even the charismatic/evangelical ones.  Herd mentality rules in churches unfortunately.  Be sure to know and understand what you are speaking as completely as possible before doing so to make sure they persecute or marginalise you (also persecution 100%) for your wise answer.  We are not required to correct people's wrong or different ideas and should speak correction carefully and wisely.  My opinion is my own but I still speak carefully at the place I attend.
As for suffering the day to day stuff we should do it in accord with Godly behaviour as you see it now and to actually do it that way, patiently, being honest, accepting responsibility even when it sucks! things like that.  Peter speaks of these things and teaches to accept all the accidents that happen to us as from God to teach and perfect us.
Within my own western society people are not actually being killed for different beliefs, not yet anyway, but people do get kicked out of churches or severely marginalised and verbally and physically abused because of questioning or believing things like there is no trinity or actually deciding to practice biblical discernment of spirits, "WOE you can't do that ! If someone speaks prophecy to you, you take it from God's throne room young man."  Yes churches say and do stuff like this to those who use their own brains to have opinions, I am not even saying they are correct in their beliefs only independent.
I have been through this though not very severely and will go through it again. I suffer very little actually but I do keep a wife that is less than optimum and I lose money every week by being honest with my employer and some nights are lonely because I have few people who like me because of the different beliefs I have that make them wary of me.  These same beliefs keep me away from "fellowship" in the form of teaching and preaching of and the use of "gifts of the spirit".  To the people of the world I am sensory deprived but I still live, imagine that and wouldn't change a thing.
We suffer for remaining different and it gets worse if we are right and can show others why they are wrong in their perceptions of God.

How's that ?
« Last Edit: September 14, 2009, 08:59:56 PM by yudonsay »
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Ninny

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Re: Suffering vs Suffering for Christ
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2009, 10:56:01 PM »

JL, that makes perfect sense..suffering is suffering..we suffer for sometimes unknown reasons..we ask, "WHY?" and there is seemingly no answer..Sometimes it seems God is so far away. and sometimes it seems like He is not even there...are these sufferings part of our judgment? The suffering we go through because of our faith does seem to be different from the suffering we do in our daily lives, but are all of these, too judgment?? I have been learning a lot lately about things that make us suffer and it IS  real, even if some of the suffering isn't physical, but mental and psychological, Not your answer..just more questions... ??? Sorry...
Kathy :-\
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Dave in Tenn

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Re: Suffering vs Suffering for Christ
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2009, 01:51:49 AM »

I'm not sure there's an 'either/or' aspect to the question.  Firstly, I don't know if it's scriptural to say "we are called to suffer for Christ by following Him".  Clearly, we are warned that to follow Him will bring about suffering, but it doesn't necessarily follow that this is our calling.  We are called to have faith and be obedient.  That faith and obedience results in persecution...but not always and only persecution.  It seems to me from scripture ( both from the examples of Paul and the admonitions given) that we aren't supposed to be out there seeking this--indeed, both Christ and Paul avoided it on numerous occasions--but being faithful and obedient and rejoicing when it happens.  For me so far, this has been a blessing to be lived, and not so much a commandment to be followed.

Beyond that, we suffer the consequences of our own sin and shortcomings.  This develops character in us eventually as we begin to learn to love justice, show mercy, and walk humbly with our God.  Maturity.

We also suffer a host of evils like illness, weakness, disappointment, dismay, doubt, fear, pain, grief, and every other evil up to and including death.  These we suffer by the will of God that we may be humbled by it.

It's not suffering that sets us apart.  The rain falls on the just and the unjust.  It's what suffering produces and how it is received that's a mark of the few and the many.  That's my take, anyway.  You want scripture, I got it.  ;)  Show me yours, too.

Better reading:  http://bible-truths.com/splinter.html     
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Heb 10:32  But you must continue to remember those earlier days, how after you were enlightened you endured a hard and painful struggle.

jacobbsladdr

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Re: Suffering vs Suffering for Christ
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2009, 01:53:42 PM »

I did a bit more searching and reading.  I believe I understand this subject much better.  I was thinking in terms of having control over my actions.  Silly me, I forgot I have zero say in the matter.  God will bring about everything in our lives and frame evil (suffering) against us to bring about the necessary changes which produce godly characteristics.

From my understanding, it does appear that we are called to suffer, specifically even moreso when we are called to follow Christ.  It would appear that according to one of Ray's papers in the Lake of Fire series about judgment on the house of God, we are expected to suffer for Christ every day in order to be worthy...

"And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than Me is NOT WORTHY of Me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than Me is NOT WORTHY of Me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after Me, IS NOT WORTHY OF ME" (Matt. 10:36-38).

We are to go through extreme hardship, persecution, and tribulations & God strengthens us so that we can endure.

"There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, Who will not suffer you to be tempted above that you are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape [Gk: ‘sequel’] that you may be able to bear it" (I Cor. 10:13).

"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" (Rom. 8:17).

"That no man should be moved by these AFFLICTIONS: for yourselves know that we are APPOINTED thereunto" (I Thes. 3:3).

"...all your PERSECUTIONS and the AFFLICTIONS with which you are bearing... which you are SUFFERING... you who are being AFFLICTED..." (I Thes. 1:5-7).

"Yea, and ALL [in every era] that will live godly in Christ Jesus SHALL SUFFER PERSECUTION" (II Tim. 3:12).
"...that ye may be counted WORTHY OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD, for which ye also SUFFER" (2 Thes. 1:4-5).


In Hebrews 12:6 God gives us examples of HOW He deals w/our sins & shortcomings:

"For whom the LORD loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom he receives. If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chastens not?"
II Cor. 4:17


"For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, works for us a far more EXCEEDING AND ETERNAL [eonian] WEIGHT of glory."

"For I will shew him [Paul] how GREAT things he must SUFFER for my name’s sake" (Acts 9:16).
"Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me DAILY, the care of ALL THE CHURCHES"! (2Co 11:28)

We MUST go thru suffering like Paul and the other disciples, although each in the own order and according to God's will.  Each person's salvation is worked out by God thru suffering and that suffering is specific to each individual.  God didn't call upon the disciples to suffer the exact same things.  But they suffered nonetheless...

"Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that WE [Christians, followers of Christ] MUST through MUCH TRIBULATION [Greek: thlipsis--affliction, troubles, burdens, persecution, anguish] enter into the kingdom of God" (Acts 14:22).

I agree that suffering and what it produces is what sets us apart.  God's works being done in us separate the Called from the Chosen, the tares from the wheat, the kept fish with the unwanted, a little leaven vs. the whole lump.

I had a brain fart and was thinking in carnal terms, as if I had a choice one way or the other.  God's work being done in us causes many changes & my focus shouldn't be on suffering at the hands of others, it's all from God.  I forgot that in the end, it's all ONE.

I have to admit, Ray's paper on how "Hard is it to Get Saved" is my all time favorite paper!

-JL




I'm not sure there's an 'either/or' aspect to the question.  Firstly, I don't know if it's scriptural to say "we are called to suffer for Christ by following Him".  Clearly, we are warned that to follow Him will bring about suffering, but it doesn't necessarily follow that this is our calling.  We are called to have faith and be obedient.  That faith and obedience results in persecution...but not always and only persecution.  It seems to me from scripture ( both from the examples of Paul and the admonitions given) that we aren't supposed to be out there seeking this--indeed, both Christ and Paul avoided it on numerous occasions--but being faithful and obedient and rejoicing when it happens.  For me so far, this has been a blessing to be lived, and not so much a commandment to be followed.

Beyond that, we suffer the consequences of our own sin and shortcomings.  This develops character in us eventually as we begin to learn to love justice, show mercy, and walk humbly with our God.  Maturity.

We also suffer a host of evils like illness, weakness, disappointment, dismay, doubt, fear, pain, grief, and every other evil up to and including death.  These we suffer by the will of God that we may be humbled by it.

It's not suffering that sets us apart.  The rain falls on the just and the unjust.  It's what suffering produces and how it is received that's a mark of the few and the many.  That's my take, anyway.  You want scripture, I got it.  Wink  Show me yours, too.

Better reading:  http://bible-truths.com/splinter.html     
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Murithi

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Re: Suffering vs Suffering for Christ
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2009, 01:56:21 PM »

Hello Dave,
I think i am going ahead of my time with this bacause i meant first to introduce myself later in the week but; felt i could say something.
Though not readily quoting the scriptures (many know them and will assist by filing in) but it about burnt offerings/sacrifices. If the Levite Prepared a good burnt offering but used fire that came NOT from the Altar then that sacrifice was inacceptable  to God because it was the Altar fire that was intended for such sacrifices that they may be pleasing to God.
Secondly another scripture(s) in the New Testament says the sufferings we undergo are that which other humans normally undergo but ours are not in vain because we suffer IN Christ Jesus.
Our suffrerings, trials are purposeful and this is evidenced by the fruit it produces. It is all ordained by our Saviour.
You will see that this is the reason Christ suffered: To ordain the suffering of His saints (that is also His Suffering) and change us.
If Christ didnt suffer no amount of suffering would be saving us.
When we ourselves were babes in Christ we suffered but the fruits came with the Spirit. We now dont suffer in vain. No.
THE FIRE HAD TO COME FROM THE ALTER itSELF.
Somebody put on the scriptures if this really helps.

I will still introduce myself and enjoy the sweet welcoming.
Thanks.

Murithi.
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mharrell08

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Re: Suffering vs Suffering for Christ
« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2009, 02:13:44 PM »

Hello Dave,
I think i am going ahead of my time with this bacause i meant first to introduce myself later in the week but; felt i could say something.
Though not readily quoting the scriptures (many know them and will assist by filing in) but it about burnt offerings/sacrifices. If the Levite Prepared a good burnt offering but used fire that came NOT from the Altar then that sacrifice was inacceptable  to God because it was the Altar fire that was intended for such sacrifices that they may be pleasing to God.
Secondly another scripture(s) in the New Testament says the sufferings we undergo are that which other humans normally undergo but ours are not in vain because we suffer IN Christ Jesus.
Our suffrerings, trials are purposeful and this is evidenced by the fruit it produces. It is all ordained by our Saviour.
You will see that this is the reason Christ suffered: To ordain the suffering of His saints (that is also His Suffering) and change us.
If Christ didnt suffer no amount of suffering would be saving us.

When we ourselves were babes in Christ we suffered but the fruits came with the Spirit. We now dont suffer in vain. No.
THE FIRE HAD TO COME FROM THE ALTER itSELF.
Somebody put on the scriptures if this really helps.

I will still introduce myself and enjoy the sweet welcoming.
Thanks.

Murithi.


Hello Murithi,

Welcome to the forum  :)

I highlighted a section from your comments...what scriptures are you referring to when you stated that Christ's suffering was needed to 'ordain' our suffering? Or that if Christ did not suffer then 'no amount of suffering' would save us?



Thanks,

Marques
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Dave in Tenn

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Re: Suffering vs Suffering for Christ
« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2009, 02:41:29 PM »

Welcome, Murthi.  Thank you for that.  That's very much what I was trying to say in content, but without your sweetness and beautiful scriptural foreshadowing/teaching/parable.

It's a question of cart and horse to me talking about suffering persecution.  We don't suffer persecution in order to follow Christ.  We follow Christ and will suffer persecution--sometimes, as, when, and to the extent He desires.  What good does it do to give up your body to be burned if you don't have Love?  Love, and you'll get all the persecution you can handle.  Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and all these other things will be added unto you.  
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Heb 10:32  But you must continue to remember those earlier days, how after you were enlightened you endured a hard and painful struggle.

mharrell08

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Re: Suffering vs Suffering for Christ
« Reply #8 on: September 17, 2009, 04:46:16 PM »

(Php 4:10 YLT)  And I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at length ye flourished again in caring for me, for which also ye were caring, and lacked opportunity;

(Php 4:11 YLT)  not that in respect of want I say it , for I did learn in the things in which I am--to be content;

(Php 4:12 YLT)  I have known both to be abased, and I have known to abound; in everything and in all things I have been initiated, both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to be in want.

(Php 4:13 YLT)  For all things I have strength, in Christ's strengthening me;

(Php 4:14 YLT)  but ye did well, having communicated with my tribulation;

(1Pe 5:10 YLT)  And the God of all grace, who did call you to His age-during glory in Christ Jesus, having suffered a little, Himself make you perfect, establish, strengthen, settle you ;


Thank you for those scriptures Jill...I was originally confused with Murithi's words, you've helped clear that up.  :)


Marques
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Ninny

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Re: Suffering vs Suffering for Christ
« Reply #9 on: September 17, 2009, 05:39:42 PM »

JL, Thank you for this topic..I have been blessed...
Kathy :-*
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jacobbsladdr

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Re: Suffering vs Suffering for Christ
« Reply #10 on: September 17, 2009, 07:03:08 PM »

Your welcome Kathy, you know my personal feelings regarding my posts these days but I just gotta post as the spirit moves me.   :D

-JL
« Last Edit: September 17, 2009, 07:18:11 PM by Jacobs Ladder »
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Ninny

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Re: Suffering vs Suffering for Christ
« Reply #11 on: September 17, 2009, 08:33:39 PM »

Yes I do, JL..You must go as the Lord leads you!
Kathy ;)
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cjwood

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Re: Suffering vs Suffering for Christ
« Reply #12 on: September 17, 2009, 11:09:48 PM »

very good stuff... i really enjoyed your post dave.

claudia
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EKnight

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Re: Suffering vs Suffering for Christ
« Reply #13 on: September 20, 2009, 11:18:23 AM »

Quote
It's not suffering that sets us apart.  The rain falls on the just and the unjust.  It's what suffering produces and how it is received that's a mark of the few and the many.  That's my take, anyway.  You want scripture, I got it.    Show me yours, too.


Thanks Dave in Tenn, this says it all for me as I have been wondering how non-believers/unjust are effected (if at all) by trials.

Eileen
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