From Genesis to Revelation

Day 18: The Privilege of Suffering

Duncan Parlett

Each day of this devotional series, we will consider key moments in God’s glorious plan to redeem us. We will understand both the overarching story of God and the highlights of all He’s done for us in Christ.
 

For the Gospel

I will never forget a college student I ministered with named Peter. He prayed that he could suffer for the gospel. Can you believe that? We all came under significant opposition that year, Peter in particular. Yet we also saw many hear and respond to the gospel. We all suffer, but it has an eternal purpose. 

Creative Truth

As we read God’s story, a collection of poetry interrupts the narrative. Let’s start with a look at Job, a book all about suffering.

Cursing or Contentment?

God gave Satan permission to bring misery on upstanding Job. God allowed it, and Job lost his livelihood, most of his family and his health. Job had two possible responses to his circumstances: He could curse God or remain faithful.

“His wife said to him, ‘Are you still maintaining your integrity? Curse God and die!’ He replied, ‘You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?’ In all this, Job did not sin in what he said.” – Job 2:9-10, New International Version

Why Suffering?

Suffering is both the result of and the remedy for a fallen world. 

The human race corrupted God’s perfect world. Our bodies, our relationships, our environment do not reflect God’s ideal. Pain results. We all experience it.

God sees us suffering and cares enough to do something about it. To redeem mankind, God had to suffer. “In bringing many sons and daughters to glory, it was fitting that God ... should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through what he suffered” (Hebrews 2:10, New International Version).

Worth It

Scripture reminds us that to suffer for the gospel is necessary, inevitable, redemptive and rewarding. Christ suffered to bring many into His kingdom. We do too as we partner with Him to reach out to others. “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all” (2 Corinthians 4:17, New International Version).

Suffering for the gospel allows us to be comforted by God, to be refined in our faith and to be significantly used and rewarded in our efforts for the kingdom. It’s the privilege of suffering.


Next: God saw David as a man after His own heart. And David expressed the human heart in amazing ways. Next time we’ll look at the role of the poet.


Questions:

  • In 2 Timothy 1:8, Paul says, “Join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God” (New International Version). Is that an invitation you accept? Why or why not?
  • 2 Timothy 3:12 says, “In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (New International Version). Why will a godly life include suffering? 
  • Are you persecuted because of the message of the gospel or are you persecuted because of how you interact with others? 
  • How does God comfort, guide and protect us in the midst of suffering?

Going Deeper:

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