Today I feel that the Holy Spirit is guiding me to start a new series about perhaps one of the most ubiquitous topics that we face on a day-to-day basis. Specifically, this topic focuses on both suffering and perseverance and their critical importance in our lives, particularly as Christians living in an increasingly broken world. Throughout this first entry (1 of 4 in series) I will attempt to provide linkages between suffering and perseverance, relying on God’s Word, in order to emphasize their respective levels of significance in the Christian life.
To begin, I will identify what the Scriptures tell us regarding the value that suffering has in the Christian life.
The relevant Scriptural Text here comes from Romans 5:3-5 where it tells us the following:
3 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
Admittedly, I didn’t have the opportunity to read last Thursday’s post, however based on the excerpt you provided here, I absolutely agree with your insightful thoughts.
What I have come to discover is that Truth is often the toughest pill to swallow, especially during particular seasons/times when we have permitted our Christian lives to become complacent (myself included).
Over the recent years, I feel that throughout Western Culture we have allowed Christianity to become too comfortable.
Nowadays, it is very evident that the number of Christians whom actually pursue godly risks, and take leaps of faith is dwindling. This deeply saddens me, and this reminds me even more so of how much work is needing to be done by Christians in this broken world.
Jesus tells us that “…The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field” (Luke 10:2).
Jesus not only clearly identifies the problem (which is just as relevant now as it was then), but He also provides us with the solution. The solution is simply found in faithfully asking(through prayer) our Mighty God to send(emphasis) workers(you and I) into the harvest field(to those in need within the front-lines).
It is worth noting as well that believers doing the praying are no more exempt from actively partaking in this work of spreading the Gospel(The Great Commission) themselves than other believers.
Anxiety is an area of my life that I have continually struggled with. Although I have certainly come a long way from my high-school days where my anxiety was at its peak, anxiety loves to try to re-gain prominence in my life at the seemingly most inconvenient of times. What I find particularly intriguing about the Scriptures is its repeated reference to trusting in the Lord rather than being afraid. Jesus Himself spent a good portion of His earthly ministry towards communicating the futility in anxiety which is definitely rooted in fear. Strikingly, fear does not only lead to anxiety but it will also typically result in a paralyzing-fear of pursuing godly risks essential to our faithful obedience to God(See COMPLACENCY HINDERS OUR JOYFUL OBEDIENCE TO GOD).
Our compassionate, loving, and patient Father truly desires for everyone to repent (2 Peter 3:9). As Christians I fear that we often forget about how bountifully blessed we are as His adopted children. John Piper once said that as His creation we have literally zero rights/claims over God. He continued by reminding us that we are not only sinners, but we are also His creation making us doubly undeserving for the glorious salvation found in the Precious Gift of His Son, Jesus