What does the Bible say about Christian suffering?
As a follower of Christ, we have to understand that life here on earth is not that easy. God didn’t promise to us to have an easy life, it is going to be tough and lots of suffering.
We must expect difficulties, hardships, cry, rejections, persecutions, troubles, and all kinds of mocks just for the sake of His name if we truly love and totally committed our life to serve Him.
Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:
But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.
If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.
But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters.
Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.1 Peter 4:12-16
The Bible is very clear about Suffering
The Bible is very clear that being true believers of Christ we are partakers of His sufferings. Faint not, don’t be discouraged and let this not be the reason for us to be pulled down or the reason for us to be the doer of evil things just to try to escape every trial to be in our own comfort.
We have to hold on to His promise in Hebrews 13:5, as He said that He will never leave us nor forsake us.
Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.Hebrews 13:5
When others mock you, harass you, lie about you, and say all kinds of horrible things about you because you are my followers, God rewards you” (Matthew 5:11).
Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.Matthew 5:11
Suffering is God’s way to strengthen our Faith
Those who are persecuted for their faith will be strengthened by Christ’s Spirit. God’s purpose for your life may include sorrow and adversity, according to Peter. Don’t be surprised if a conflict arises, it is part of our suffering as we are partakers of Christ’s suffering.
This isn’t to say that all Christian behavior creates pain. Peter differentiates between suffering as a believer and suffering as a result of wrongdoing.
For example, a Christian may feel singled out because of his or her faith when everyone else can see that it is his or her own bad behavior that is generating the problems or sufferings.
Careful thought or wise counsel may be needed to determine the real cause of our suffering. We can be assured, however, that whenever we suffer because of our loyalty to Christ, he will be with us all the way.
Rejoice and be not ashamed of your Suffering for Christ’s sake
Suffering as a Christian should never make us feel shameful. When Peter and the other apostles were persecuted for preaching the Gospel, they rejoiced because it was a sign that God was pleased with their work (Acts 5:41-42).
And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name. And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.Acts 5:41-42
Don’t go out of your way to prevent pain or suffering, and don’t go out of your way to avoid it. Rather, continue to do what is right, whether or not it causes pain.
Rejoice and do the will of God. Suffering is temporary and soon it will pass away. Let your light shine before men that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in Heaven.
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.Matthew 5:16