Thursday, January 31, 2013

Sharing Christ's Sufferings

“Calling entails the cost of discipleship.  The deepest challenge is to renounce self and identify with Jesus in his sufferings and rejections.” –Os Guinness

From early childhood Americans are taught that we are free to pursue the American Dream, a life of happiness and prosperity.  We grow up wanting to be comfortable, however, throughout history comfort hasn’t always coincided with a life of following Christ.  On the contrary, sometimes, following Christ has made many uncomfortable.  Why else are Christians thrown in prison and martyred for sharing Christ in eastern parts of the world?  I hope that you find some encouragement when I say that it is perfectly normal for others to hate you for being a Christian.  Even those closest to you may forsake you, leaving you feeling more alone.  No matter what you’re going through now, remember the hope that you have in your salvation, and trust that God’s plan is being manifested in your life. 

Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ's sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed (1 Peter 4:12-13, ESV). 

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