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I read this today and liked it.  I would like to know what "You" think about the title and the article, does it have biblical truth?

 

by Chris Roberts on December 31, 2009

But the Lord has said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel. For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.” Acts 9:15-16

 

We are inclined to choose the easy path. When faced with a decision about the Lord’s will we let potential hardship sway our choice. But God had determined that Paul’s path would run through hardship and suffering. He is a chosen instrument of mine, declared the Lord, to carry my name… Paul would carry the name of Christ through many lands but in the process he must suffer for the sake of my name.

 

There are times when God calls for his children to suffer. Sometimes the suffering comes from forces we cannot avoid: a hurricane, an earthquake, the wickedness of others. But sometimes we are called to put ourselves in the path of suffering. We go to lands where Christianity is outlawed, carrying our possessions in a coffin for we know this is a one-way trip. We move into the inner city to bring light into the darkness. We visit housing projects to share the love of Christ. And we give up fame, fortune, and prestige, all for the glory of God.

 

In Peru there is a native Quechua pastor named Joshua Sauñe spreading the gospel among people scattered throughout the Andes mountains. He once said, “I do not always understand missionaries. They come in but leave when troubles grow. I want to ask them, ‘What, are you afraid of going to Heaven?’”

 

Christian, the Lord does not always call you to easy things. He will often call you to suffer for the sake of his name. But do not let such hardships stop you from obeying the Lord’s will. Live instead like those saints in Hebrews 11:16 who desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city.

 

This world is not my home and in the Lord I find my comfort and safety. Therefore I will follow him wherever he leads, even if it be through the valley of the shadow of death.

 

Listen to this message: http://www.ligonier.org/learn/series/surprised_by_suffering/sufferi...

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A Divine Vocation

From: http://www.ligonier.org/learn/devotionals/divine-vocation/

 

Behold, this child is appointed for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is opposed (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also) …” (Luke 2:34–35).

- Luke 2:22–35
 

When someone mentions the concept of vocation, the first thing that usually springs to mind is one’s occupation. This idea is so prevalent that we have named schools that teach specific trades “vocational schools” because they give people skills to earn a living.

 

Though it is certainly right to associate the notion of a vocation with employment, the word can have a broader meaning. Vocation comes from the Latin word meaning “to call” and can refer to any kind of calling people have on their lives. Today we will speak of suffering as a divine vocation, that is, as a call from God to suffer at some point in our lives.

 

That God calls us to periods of suffering is hard for us to understand at times. However, several biblical examples make it clear that suffering can be a specific vocation. We can think instantly of Job whom God allows to experience all sorts of difficulty and trouble. Though we know that Job was called to suffer because God permitted tragedy to enter his life (Job 1:12; 2:6), we are never given the reasons for Job’s sufferings. In answer to Job’s question of “why?,” God only replies by asking Job questions emphasizing His sovereignty and, thus, Job’s need to trust in Him (chap. 38–41).

 

Another one who was called to suffer was the man born blind (John 9). In this case we are told that the reason for his vocation was neither his sin nor the sin of his parents. Rather, he was born blind so that his healing would manifest God’s works and testify to Christ (vv. 1–5). Surely we would not be stretching things to say that this man, knowing the ultimate purpose of his blindness, was later grateful.

 

Today’s passage reminds us of the One whose vocation was nothing but suffering. As Simeon told Mary, Jesus was to be a sign that would be opposed, whose suffering would cause grief not only for Him but also for His mother (Luke 2:34–35). Jesus suffered far more in a few hours than any of us could experience in a lifetime, and He could do so because He entrusted Himself perfectly to the Father (1 Peter 2:23). Only if we trust in God’s goodness and purpose, even when it is not evident to us, will we be able to endure pain as well.

Coram Deo

Lest we think that Christ bore His pain with ease, let us remember that even Jesus asked for the cup of suffering to pass from Him (Luke 22:39–42). Yet He did this in faith, submitting to the Father’s will when it was clear that He alone could fulfill the call to suffer for the sake of His people. Like Jesus, we may ask for our suffering to pass, but whether it does or not we must always trust the Father and His good purposes for our suffering.

David,

Yes, this article contains Biblical truth, and it's good reading.  Dr. Sproul's message about the why of suffering is informative and insightful.  Thank you for sharing both. 

In many places, the Scriptures state that because of their faith Christians will have to endure suffering, hardship, and persecution.  Paul the Apostle is a prime example.  He spent the last few decades of his life in the service of Christ, traveling far and wide in dangerous conditions to share the Gospel, despite continual pain, suffering and occasional setbacks. 

Many of the earliest Christians were imprisoned and tortured, with some becoming martyrs because they refused to deny their faith in Christ.  Throughout history, many Christians have suffered because of their faith.  In many parts of the world today, Christians face persecution and suffering because of their beliefs.

So, with that in mind, two questions arise:

1.  What constitutes suffering for the name of Christ for Christians living in 21st Century America, Canada and the UK?

2.  How is our understanding and/or experience of suffering to which we are called by Christ today similar to or different from that of First Century Christians?

The grace and peace of our Lord Jesus the Messiah be with you,

 

Colby

Excellent questions Colby,

 

Thank you for bringing them up. I am going to contemplate them.

Many people seem to view our sufferings to happen because we have stepped out of the will of God and are being disciplined or we have given the devil a foothold, especially if the suffering is physical or mental or emotional. What is meant by Galatians 6:17? What are the marks of Jesus?

From now on, don't let anyone trouble me with these things. For I bear on my body the scars that show I belong to Jesus. (NLT)

Suffering (trials and tribulations) are a part of life. In every trial/storm we have choices. I will list two that motivate me:

 

1) I can choose to focus on the storm or the Savior who holds the key to the storm.

2) I can choose to seek to glorify Jesus in and through my storm or surrender to its affects on me.

 

Colby brings up an excellent question:

"What constitutes suffering for the name of Christ for Christians living in 21st Century America, Canada and the UK?"

 

David, excellent post.

Lord Bless,

LT

 

LT - You mean this one ist's better than my:

Hollywood's Satanic Agenda...VERY Eye Opening..

 

hahaha hahaha 

:-)

Char :). I like it too, very informative. I think they could have done a better job, 'cause that jolt we get in the begining of it was not needed hahaha, but...it's cool. 

hahaha haha

 

LT,

Thank you for this video. I desperately needed it this morning. Thank you for your obedience to His Spirit.

Roy

Roy,

 

I am praying for you and your school. May God bless you and use you richly in the days to come.

 

Lord Bless,
LT

I like it too. :-)

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