“If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.”
1 Corinthians 13:3 NLT
The subject of love is so important that Apostle Paul dedicated a whole chapter to it. One thing his message emphasized is the need to see all that we do through the lenses of love. Love should be the motive behind why we do all we do.
In today’s article, we would be talking about sufferings as it is one of the controversial topics in the body of Christ today. Interestingly, there are some Christians who still believe that they have to suffer, in other words, go through hardship to prove their spirituality. In the next few paragraphs, we will find out what the will of God is concerning this.
There are two questions that come to mind when we talk about suffering. First, are we supposed to suffer Christ as believers? Yes, we are. One of the privileges that we have as believers is not just to believe in Christ but also to suffer for Him.
The world we live in doesn’t like Christ and as long as we identify with him, we can be sure that they don’t like us too; if they persecuted the One who sent us, we can be sure they will do the same to us (John 15:18-20). This is why we must make sacrifices to truly stand with Christ and live purposefully for Him in this world.
The apostles, for example, were made to suffer for their faith and we saw how they responded with joy because they counted it as a privilege (Acts 5:41). This should be our response when we are being persecuted for believing in Christ, although there is a balance to it.
As much as we are to respond with joy, we must make sure that we are doing it for the furtherance of the gospel and not to ‘fulfill all righteousness’ or make a boast out of it.
The second question is when it comes to the natural aspect of our lives, does God want us to live a life of hardship? No, God wants us to prosper and be in good health (3rd John 1:2, Jeremiah 29:11).
Don’t be that Christian with the mindset of “it has to be hard, to be the will of God”. Don’t be that person who would rather stay in poverty rather than take opportunities that would bring about wealth and increase all because of spirituality.
Don’t translate spirituality to mean hardship. When you read through the Bible, you’ll find examples of believers who were wealthy and used their wealth for the gospel’s sake.
Choosing to be mediocre when you can do better is not God’s will for you. When it comes to suffering at all, your mindset should be that it is only as necessary for the advancement of the gospel.
Choosing to suffer should not be for any form of selfish motives or self righteousness. Whatever you do, let the love and furtherance of the gospel be your priority.
Bible Reading Plan
Luke 6:17-26, Philippians 3:10-14, Psalms 119:161-168, 2 Kings 16-17