Present Suffering

I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God. Romans 8:18-21

Yesterday, I wrote about the Suffering Church. I wrote about how many in foreign lands are severely mistreated, but I’m afraid I only told you part of the story.

You see, our Brothers and Sisters being persecuted for Christ have rewards waiting for them that you and I would only dream about. Of course their suffering is not in vain, and yet they do not suffer in order to get those rewards. They are suffering because they know that to deny their faith and the Lord who saved them would be far worse than anything a mere man could do to them.

As you consider these words, think about how your life would be different if your church was burned and you were thrown into prison. Consider what you would say if you were told to deny your faith or else be beheaded. It’s really not something we like to think about because it’s not pleasant. Of course if you are asked in an air conditioned Sunday School room, you would say you wouldn’t deny Christ, but would that be the case if you were being tossed against a wall repeatedly?

“Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, saying, ‘This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.’

“Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Will he not first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple. Luke 14:28-33

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