REJOICE IN SUFFERINGS
“His speech persuaded them. They called the apostles in and had them flogged.Then they ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name. Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Messiah.” Acts 5:40-42
“How did 11 men each independently die a Martyrs death for a dead man? How did the prosecutor of Christians become the central proclaimer of Christ? The answer, A resurrection” Dale Partridge
The reflection of Christ in a Christian is found in their character. How we live, how we speak, what we condone, what we fight for. That shows what we stand for and what we are willing to lay our lives down and die for. Maturity in character is purified whenever we face trials of many kinds, the testing of faith that produces perseverance. When perseverance finishes its work we are mature and complete, lacking nothing James 1: 2-4 . How do we rejoice in suffering?
“A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones“ Proverbs 17:22.
No one wants to suffer, that's a fact. Media portrays a beautiful world where “life” doesn’t happen to us, a utopian idealistic world where trials are for the selected few, unfortunate enough to not be favored by society, status, or wealth. The world's view of suffering for what we believe in does not bring an everlasting reward. Christians are to be Christ- like, and because of that association we are not immune to life’s tests and trials.
Jesus told the disciples that all nations will hate them because they are his followers. But everyone who endures to the end will be saved” Matthew 10:22. Jesus speaks of a kind of endurance he himself had to go through. He endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Hebrews 12:2
The struggles we go through today are nothing new or strange to Jesus since he went through everything you're going through and more so we should learn to think like him. Think of our sufferings as a weaning from that old sinful habit of always expecting to get our own way 1 Peter 4:1.
Jesus told the disciples that they too would go through various trials, but he encouraged them with these simple yet powerful words “ I have spoken unto you, that in me you might have peace. In the world you shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.John 16:33
We may face various trials and sometimes forget that Jesus said we would, he also tells us not to worry for he has overcome the world, he has won the victory. No trial will be too hard for us for he is the way the truth and the life. He has told us of these things before they happen so that when they do happen, we will believe. John 14:29
You will be hidden from the scourge of the tongue,And you will not be afraid of violence when it comes. Job 5:21
They will mock Him and spit on Him, and scourge Him and kill Him, and three days later He will rise again.” Mark 10:34
We rejoice in sufferings by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy set before him, he endured the cross.
The way God’s people, his prophets were treated was the same way that they would treat Christ. Jesus had a resilient strength in him that powered through the persecution till the resurrection. He promised us a Helper who would be with us in the midst of all things, a Helper who would be with us till the very end of the age. The Holy Spirit.
There’s a beauty in relying on Christ in our times of suffering, the kind of joy that comes from understanding that this world could never offer us everlasting life. Through his suffering we were made whole. Through his suffering we are able to persevere in all things because Jesus has overcome death and grave, therefore brothers and sisters, consider it pure joy when you go through various trials, for those trials are the testing and building of our character, molded to be like Christ.