It is impossible to provide a complete Theology of Suffering in one minute, so this is just the beginning. Have you ever wondered why Christ suffered at the end of his life? Why would he willingly go through the physical, emotional, and spiritual pain of the flogging and crucifixion? I know the easy Sunday School answer of Christ dying for our sins and bearing the wrath and punishment of God that we deserved. Both of these reasons are true and should be cause for great rejoicing. But could there be more? Why are belief AND suffering considered a privilege? I believe it has to do with helping us experience and understand God’s grace and mercy at a deeper level. Christians should feel honored when chosen to suffer with Christ because if believers share in Christ’s cross, they will share in His crown. Christian, this doesn’t mean that all of your suffering and persecution is because you believe in Christ, sometimes you do (and say) stupid things, so don’t call everything you are going through your cross. I’ve also seen Christians chase mountaintop experiences. You were not meant to live on the mountaintop, but in the valley, where God’s Word promises us He will be with us. A robust theology of suffering will help you in your day-to-day life and is also the antithesis to the heresy of health, wealth, and prosperity. It is a privilege to suffer for Christ.
Philippians 1:29: “For you have been given not only the privilege of trusting in Christ but also the privilege of suffering for him.”
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