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Rewards of Suffering


The other day, my dear friend Kamal and I were traveling back home after having our ministry meeting. As we were conversing on our way, he made an insightful comment. When we go through suffering, we generally tend to comfort ourselves and others by reviving the focus on the reward that we would be receiving in heaven. True, we do receive a great reward on the Last Day when we endure trials, for it is written, “Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him” (Jas 1:12).

But then, why don’t we also realize the rewards that we get here on earth because of afflictions? Kamal further talked about the blessings that we receive as a result of suffering in this world. What could be those rewards? As I was reflecting on our conversation, the following Scriptures come into mind.
  • Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. (Jas. 1:2-4)
  • Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. (Rom. 5:3)
As the Holy Scripture reveals, we learn patience under pressure and get maturity under adversity. There are no shortcuts or smooth paths to attain these virtues. The plain truth is - without going through affliction, we cannot attain perfection (maturity). Our character is shaped under crisis. So, aren’t patience and maturity, which are developed as a result of suffering, a great blessing in our lives? Should we not rejoice, as Paul says in Romans 5:3 and even James in 1:2, for what suffering produces in our lives? Isn’t this a great reward on earth?

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Comments

  1. If there is benefits both eternal and earthly, question comes, should we ask for suffering ?

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  2. We don't need to ask for suffering. It comes by default for being a disciple of Christ. Lord Jesus said, "In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world" (Jn. 16:33).

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  3. Yes we will suffer for being disciples of Christ but we suffer also, and our families with us, when we make unwise decisions and leave God no choice but to discipline us through trials. Is it not wise to heed to His staff of guidance than get bruised by His rod of discipline? Most of our suffering is self inflicted and there is no peace in the midst of this kind of suffering... only tears of anguish and hopefully repentance. However when we suffer for being His disciples we will not only have peace in the midst of suffering that surpasses all understanding but we may also sing like Paul and Silas from prison. What about the prof in Kerala? what is he suffering for?

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  4. True, there is also self-inflicted suffering due to unwise choices but I am not a prophet to judge why someone is suffering, whether self-inflicted or God-permitted. The brief message in this blog addresses the issue of suffering in general. Peace!

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  5. Then the question is how does one know that it is self-inflicted or God-permitted? Any practical advise? Personally going through something not able to figure out, If it is self-inflicted or God ordained. Crying and Praying to God, looks it is both. How can it be both? little confusing

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  6. It's a wonderful article helping people of God to have a right perspective in their personal walk with the Lord.

    keep up the good work, and continue to encourage multitude who need such messages in the midst situations that God allows.

    There are some like Ps 107:17, "Some became fools through their rebellious ways and suffered affliction because of their iniquities"

    And some for allowing Lordship of Christ, which builds us and shapes us for higher service. Romans 8:28 "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him"

    Keep up good work of encouraging the saints!

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  7. I was recently blasted on Facebook for stating that I was a Christian, and that homosexuality is wrong. What a blessing your article has been! Rest assured that I will visit this site as a reminder of God's promises!

    ReplyDelete

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