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.
Desiderius Erasmus noted, 'War is delightful to those who have had no experience of it.' Many view war like a sports program—with no concern for suffering.
Our response to God's call has not removed all of our suffering. However, responding to God changes the reason for suffering and what it can accomplish.
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 ..."
As soon as The Father and Son created man with the ability to choose right or wrong, They exposed Themselves to the certainty that humanity would rebel.
Trials provide an opportunity to inspect our attitudes and actions, prompting us to make adjustments, avoiding further, harsher correction from the Almighty.
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.
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 disheartened player, "It's supposed to be hard; if it weren't hard everybody …
Some have a warped idea of godliness, not pursuing it with a desire to resemble God, but believing that if they are righteous, God will materially bless.
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 before their fall. Our suffering is temporal, fleeting, and momentary, as …
Pentecost and Memorial Day may seem to be quite different, but we should not be too hasty in concluding that they do not share any common features.
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, and how do we come by it?
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.
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 their laurels, and become busy-bodies, as well as leading the leaders to …
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 (Romans 8:28). Tragic things, calamities, trials, anxiety, evil, and curses …
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 must quickly ask God for what we need to learn from this episode. Though we …
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) through suffering. Likewise, God the Father has determined that His called-out …
A good soldier must exemplify honesty and self-control, qualities God desires in us. Uriah demonstrated this high standard by refusing to violate his code of honor.
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.
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.
The book of Hebrews provides reasons to recapture flagging zeal, focusing on the reason for our hope and faith, establishing Christ's credentials.
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 uses to create something beautiful in us. Suffering always hurts, just as …
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 to illustrate that God prepares us for spiritual war against the enemies …
Persecution is a fact of life for a Christian. Jesus Christ says we are blessed if we are persecuted for righteousness' sake — here's why.
As we approach the coming self-examination prior to Passover, we can apply six significant lessons taught to ancient Israel through the book of Lamentations.
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 wise and mighty. Fortunately, God did not abandon our forbears in their …
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 will even during the most agonizing night of His life, drinking the cup …
When we mortify the flesh, refusing to feed the hungry beast of our carnal nature, we suffer. Suffering for righteousness' sake helps us to know Christ.
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. Paul, looking far beyond his prison experience, would be contented no …
Christ's sacrifice was not merely substitutionary, but representative, with Christ giving us a pattern for life - mortifying our flesh and putting out sin.
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 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 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 contentment- a by-product of obedience. Contentment (an inner quality) does …
Hebrews is addressed to a people living at the end of an era, who were drifting away, had lost their devotion, and were no longer motivated by zeal.
Persecution involves a wide spectrum, ranging from torture, physical beating, social excommunication, imprisonment and death. Our boldness should match Paul's.
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.
Martin Collins cites some quotations from an atheist writer who rationalizes his belief in no God by stating that suffering could no longer be blamed on an omniscient deity, allowing him to pursue his narcissistic lifestyle without guilt. The psalmist, David, (Psalm 14:1) insists that all people having this mind set are fools, …
Four distinct Old Testament Messianic prophecies were fulfilled by Christ's death and cited by the Apostle John.
Even loyal servants of God have had to contend with depression and discouragement. Antidotes include rest, refocus, right expectations, and obedient actions.