An Exclusive (?) Club

as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: by great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities,  beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless nights, hungerthrough honor and dishonor, through slander and praise. We are treated as impostors, and yet are true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold, we live; as punished, and yet not killed;  as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, yet possessing everything.

Suffering.

I’m just going to lay it out there.

Suffering is the exclusive club I’m talking about.

You will suffer under constant oppression and harsh treatment. . .

Job new full well what it was like to suffer.  He also knew from Whom suffering came.

But he said to her (his wife), “You speak as one of the foolish women would speak. Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips.

But why suffering?!!!?

WHY GOD?!!!!!!!?

WHY?!!!!!!!!?

FOR THOSE WHOM THE LORD LOVES HE DISCIPLINES, AND HE SCOURGES EVERY SON WHOM HE RECEIVES.It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.…

endure hardship as discipline.

What could possibly make us even acknowledge suffering let alone endure it?

crossloveI want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings. Philippians 3:10

Only the cross of Christ…

He was despised and forsaken of men, A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; And like one from whom men hide their face He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. Surely our griefs He Himself bore, And our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, Smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed.…

As Jesus lived, died, and rose again to win salvation for us from the cruel oppression of the god of this age…

Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because whoever suffers in the body is done with sin.

Hang in there!

Be of great endurance!

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

He won’t forget you!

His very nature is to deliver  (click here:  Names of God)

I will deliver you.

And again…

Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days.

And again…

….he God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.

This tells us that our days of suffering are perfectly numbered by the Sovereign Lord.  And remember…

You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.

And what exactly has He promised?

Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you life as your victor’s crown.

Isn’t eternal life so worth this temporal suffering no matter how hard it is?  Paul thought so…

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.

Besides, we don’t have to go it alone….

For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities

Therefore…

Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.

My last observation is this:  Is suffering an “exclusive” club or “inclusive”???

 If we share in Christ’s suffering in order to share his glory, we are heirs together with him…The one who loves us gives us an overwhelming victory in all these sufferings.

I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love which Christ Jesus our Lord shows us. We can’t be separated by death or life, by angels or rulers, by anything in the present or anything in the future, by forces
or powers in the world above or in the world below, or by anything else in creation.

(Also check out Michael Card’s “Lift Up Your Sorrows”)

Jesus, welcome all who have ears to hear to this club…this inclusive club…this club of suffering.  May Your Holy Spirit empower us to endure even unto the end in Your name, Amen

“Here at our ministry we refuse to present a picture of “gentle Jesus, meek and mild,” a portrait that tugs at your sentiments or pulls at your heartstrings. That’s because we deal with so many people who suffer, and when you’re hurting hard, you’re neither helped nor inspired by a syrupy picture of the Lord, like those sugary, sentimental images many of us grew up with. You know what I mean? Jesus with His hair parted down the middle, surrounded by cherubic children and bluebirds.

Come on. Admit it: When your heart is being wrung out like a sponge, when you feel like Morton’s salt is being poured into your wounded soul, you don’t want a thin, pale, emotional Jesus who relates only to lambs and birds and babies.

You want a warrior Jesus.

You want a battlefield Jesus. You want his rigorous and robust gospel to command your sensibilities to stand at attention.

To be honest, many of the sentimental hymns and gospel songs of our heritage don’t do much to hone that image. One of the favorite words of hymn writers in days gone by was sweet. It’s a term that doesn’t have the edge on it that it once did. When you’re in a dark place, when lions surround you, when you need strong help to rescue you from impossibility, you don’t want “sweet.” You don’t want faded pastels and honeyed softness.

You want mighty. You want the strong arm an unshakable grip of God who will not let you go — no matter what.”
Joni Eareckson Tada,

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About lifevine

Hi! My name is Amy. I am a former atheist and, for a season, practiced witchcraft. God drew me out of darkness 17 years ago and gave me the spiritual gifts of knowing and faith. He gives me daily encouragement and affirmation and I hope to share Him with you. If you have not yet met the one true God, His name is Jesus Christ, and may I be the first to introduce you to Him? He is the Restorative Savior God promised Adam and Eve 6,000 years ago (Genesis 3:15) after they had sinned in the garden, bringing separation from God because of disobedience. It is rightly reported that a little over 2,000 years ago in Bethlehem He was born of a virgin, lived a blameless perfect life in and around Jerusalem, died on a cross on Golgotha for the world's sin, and 3 days later rose again. YES! ROSE AGAIN! AMAZING! Please get baptized in His name, and walk in an eternal restored fellowship with Christ. You can get to know Him by reading, marking, and inwardly digesting His Word.... His Holy Bible.
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