*TOPIC: CHRISTIAN SUFFERING – PART 1*
*BIBLE TEXT: Acts 5:41*
 *And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.*
Everyone would love to share in God’s glory but only a few would pray for his cross experience. The disciples rejoiced after being beaten and shamefully embarrassed in the public. Why? They saw the beating and shame as glory for the sake of Christ. There are many of us that have never suffered anything for Christ’s sake since we became born again. The easiest way to test your willingness to suffer shame for him is by going for evangelism. Many of us have neighbors that are heading for hell but we kept quiet and pretended all is well because you don’t want them to call you names. Some Christians of 5years have never won a soul since they became saved. They ask God only for need and not to meet God’s need which is a soul. How can you suffer for Christ then?
Brethren, when Jesus called Paul into ministry, he told him of what he will suffer. When Ananias complained to Jesus how wicked Paul had been to the Church, hear what Jesus said himself.
In Acts 9:16: Jesus replied Ananias:
……For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake.
Beloved, Paul didn’t suffer in the corner of his room. He suffered every time he preaches the gospel to the Jews but he continued to do it till death. If we choose to be comfortable with souls drowning in hell, there will never be persecution against us. Devil is always happy with fruitless Christians. They only ear and drink without bearing any meaningful fruit into the kingdom they belong to.
Many Christians quote this verse in Gal. 6:17 which says:
*From henceforth let no man trouble me: for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.*
Do you know the marks Paul was talking about here? They are marks he got while preaching the gospel. Many ignorant Christians who bear no mark of persecution turn it to prayer point today. Do you want to know how Paul got the marks? Read on 2 Cor. 11:23-27
23 Are they servants of Christ (I am out of my mind to talk like this.) I am more. I have worked much harder, BEEN IN PRISON MORE FREQUENTLY, BEEN FLOGGED MORE SEVERELY, AND BEEN EXPOSED TO DEATH AGAIN AND AGAIN.
24 FIVE TIMES I RECEIVED FROM THE JEWS THE FORTY LASHES MINUS ONE.
25 THREE TIMES I WAS BEATEN WITH RODS, once I was pelted with stones, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea,
26 I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my fellow Jews, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city,(K) in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false believers.
27 I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked.
Beloved, you are not a partaker of the suffering of Christ if you are not standing for your Christ. Suffering for Christ refers to the persecution that comes because you stand for the truth and the gospel. Though we may not experience what Paul went through because the gospel is not under attack in our cities but we must endeavor that we preach the gospel and intercede for those in terrible cities where the gospel of the Lord Jesus is hated and hunted.
Thank you for reading
Oluwaseun Isaac Agbenla