As we follow the pattern set by Jesus Christ, we will suffer as God prepares us for roles of great glory as members of His Family.
It offends our sense of justice to see the wicked prospering while the righteous suffer. We may need to adjust our expectations for leading an easy life.
Even suffering that may not be as a direct result of our faith is part of the trials of this age. It will bear positive fruit if it is approached in faith.
If we are merely seeking a crown of glory, hoping to skirt by Christ's suffering, we must ask ourselves whether we really accept the Passover cup.
In observing the news coverage for the last week and a half, I am not quite sure whether I am being informed about the blow-by-blow events of a war, a boxing match, or a football game. ...
We hear the phrase so often that it has become a cliché: "Why do bad things happen to good people?" It is typically asked in times of catastrophe, such as when natural disasters strike or the apparently undeserving suffer violence. ...
As we saw in Part One, Hebrews 5:7-10 describes a facet of Christ's suffering: "... who, in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications ..."
The fact that God Himself grieves over human sinfulness and the separation it causes—which we learned in Part Two—begs the question of why God created an order where even He and the Word are not immune to suffering. ...
As God has designed the physical healing process, God has also designed spiritual healing, requiring that faith, suffering, and healing be part of the same process.
Martin Collins, reiterating that Romans 8 provides assurance that we are of God, asks us to consider that the sufferings we go through now are miniscule compared to the glory which we will later receive, completely eclipsing the glory of Adam and Eve befor. . .
Mark Schindler, acknowledging that movies and books contain unforgettable aphorisms to ponder or live by, focuses on a memorable line from the movie A League of Their Own, a movie about a struggling women's baseball team, when the coach tells a disheartene. . .
Every now and again, the Feast of Pentecost and Memorial Day fall back-to-back on the calendar, as they do this year. ...
What does the Bible mean when it says we should count it all joy when you fall into various trials? What is this joy we must experience? How do we come by it? Using his personal experience with his wife's cancer, Mike Ford shows how joy and trial go togeth. . .
Clyde Finklea, acknowledging that life is full of good and bad times, directs us to learn the lesson of Ecclesiastes 7:13-14, to rejoice when times are good and to reflect soberly when times are bad, realizing that adversity or suffering is a tool that God. . .
Martin Collins discusses the apostle Paul's epistle to the Thessalonians, a group of dispirited, despairing Christians who had been bombarded by false teachings that the Day of the Lord had already come, prompting many to quit their employment, rest on the. . .
John Ritenbaugh, defining providence as the protective care of God, suggests that the providence of God also touches on the pains and sufferings of persecution. To the elect whom God foreknew, all things- pleasant or unpleasant- happen for ultimate good (R. . .
Clyde Finklea, reminding us that spiritual maturity does not come about without difficulty, asserts that suffering is one of the tools God uses to perfect us. Suffering is part of a process to refine endurance and character. At the onset of a trial, we mus. . .
Affliction is a necessary aspect of life, yielding strength of character, while ease and comfort weaken us. Christ was perfected as High Priest through suffering.
Christ endured many more than three temptations; rather, He was tested continuously, and perhaps the intensity increased as He neared the end of His life.
Acts 27 teaches that we must distinguish among several types of suffering. Regardless of the type of suffering, we must remember that God will deliver us.
Why did God allow this tragedy? Why do the good suffer and the evil prosper? We want answers to these questions, but Jesus points us in another direction.
John Ritenbaugh, reflecting on the analogy or metaphor of wilderness wanderings, focuses on the role of suffering or persecution (pressure) in perfecting the saints. God the Father perfected Jesus Christ (our Elder Brother, High Priest, and Mediator) throu. . .
In Part One, we saw that pressure, hardship, and anguish are not elements of a Christian's life that suddenly disappear because of faith and God's calling. It also became clear that trial ...
Only John records Jesus' healing of the man born blind, which shows Christ calling a people for Himself despite the efforts of the Jewish leaders to deter Him.
Despite the many blessings God bestows upon His saints, real Christianity more resembles a running battle against persistent, hostile forces than a leisurely stroll down the path of life. John Ritenbaugh uses the example of ancient Israel in the wilderness. . .
John Ritenbaugh reiterates that the Apostle Paul, in this prison epistle, conveyed to the Philippians his optimism that the apparent misfortune was actually a blessing, actually enabling Paul to magnify his effectiveness, enabling more fruit to be borne. P. . .
Hard trials are not punishments from God for unrighteousness but tests of faith in which He is intimately involved to prepare us for the world to come.
The book of Hebrews provides reasons to recapture flagging zeal, focusing on the reason for our hope and faith, establishing Christ's credentials.
Persecution is not a subject we normally like to think about, but it is a fact of life for a Christian. John Ritenbaugh explains why Jesus says we are blessed if we are persecuted for righteousness' sake.
Kim Myers, reflecting on the uniqueness of our calling, asks us if we appreciate the miracle of our calling, an event which changed our orientation regarding our belief structure, diet, and moral behavior, totally at odds with the world. God has called eac. . .
John Ritenbaugh contends that our pilgrimage began with our calling and ends with our destination in the Kingdom of God as members of His Royal Priesthood. It seems to have been God's choice to call foolish, base, and despised individuals to confound the w. . .
Life seems to be one trial after another. However, God has revealed an astounding facet of God's love that should give us the faith to soldier on.
Even while in the process of being arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus showed mercy on the stricken Malchus, healing his detached ear. Martin Collins continues to explore this incident in the life of Christ, showing that He was true to His Father's. . .
John Reid observes that many people live in a state of discontent. Ironically, what they set their hearts upon (wealth, power, influence) often displaces the love for family and a relationship with God. True riches consist of godly character coupled with c. . .
John Ritenbaugh explains the significance of "the fellowship of His sufferings" and "being conformed to His death" (Philippians 3:10). Christ's death had both a substitutionary and a representative aspect. The former pays for our sins, . . .
John Ritenbaugh reiterates that the martyrdom of Stephen, largely instigated by Hellenistic Jews, actually had the paradoxical dramatic effect of spreading the Gospel into Gentile venues, enabling individuals like Cornelius and the Ethiopian Eunuch, upon r. . .
Richard Ritenbaugh reminds us that war has personally touched only a fraction of Americans. Not since the aftermath of the 'Civil' War has any part of the nation suffered the ravages of war and the bitterness of defeat. The offspring of Jacob, for the most. . .
John Ritenbaugh reiterates that Christ's sacrifice was not merely substitutionary, but representative, with Christ giving us a pattern to live our lives- mortifying our flesh and putting out sin. From this pattern, we realize that living righteously does n. . .
Persecution involves a wide spectrum, ranging from torture, physical beating, social excommunication, imprisonment and death. Our boldness should match Paul's.
The biblical city of Smyrna may be one that many know the least about. The city's name reveals the themes that the Head of the church wants us to understand.
John Ritenbaugh observes that Hebrews is addressed to a people living at the end of an era, who were drifting away, had lost their first love or devotion, and were no longer motivated by zeal. Through lack of prayer, Bible study, and meditation, they had i. . .
Among Christ's greatest miracles is the resurrection of Lazarus. John 11 details Jesus' approach to and way of expressing the concept of death, giving hope.
The Father and the Son are two distinct beings, not co-equal as the trinity doctrine proclaims, but with the Son deferring to the Father in all things.
Richard Ritenbaugh, providing some startling statistics showing the wastefulness of Americans, who discard nearly a third of the food they produce annually, states that the western world, and America particularly, is clueless as to what real famine is. Tr. . .
Martin Collins, asking whether suffering and sorrow come upon those whom God the Father or Jesus Christ loves, identifies four distinct Old Testament Messianic prophecies fulfilled by Christ's death and all cited by the Apostle John. They include (1) the d. . .
Receive Biblical truth in your inbox—spam-free! This daily newsletter provides a starting point for personal study, and gives valuable insight into the verses that make up the Word of God. See what over 140,000 subscribers are already receiving.