I, John,a your brother and companion in the suffering – rev 1:9
I wonder if we have ever really read this and then stopped to think about what the really means. What significance does it have for us?
I think it is interesting when I read articles about people who preach the prosperity gospel. I wonder if they have actually taken the time to read the New Testament. If someone were to sit down and start reading it, it wouldn’t be long before they realized that there are a lot of references to suffering. In fact just look at 1 Corinthians 4:11-12. Here we can see that the Apostles experienced a considerable amount of suffering. Then look at Acts 14:21-22; in fact it is worth quoting here,
They preached the gospel in that city and won a large number of disciples. Then they returned to Lystra, Iconium and Antioch, strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith.“We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God,” they said.
They actually taught new disciples that they would have endure many hardships. That’s a little different than what most churches teach today. Perhaps it’s because if they did, not so many people would want to be part of it. Yet if Jesus was crucified, then his followers can expect hardships. We have been given an incredible gift, in the present and the future. Let us endure patiently and be a great witness even in suffering.
Let us learn from Paul, let us say “God’s grace is sufficient.”