Hi, Jesus loves you.
Does it pay to be a Christian? What kind of life should a person expect having identified with Jesus? When people consider the Christian suffering, they shudder; but the truth is that Christians suffer for two basic reasons. This post explains these two reasons why Christians suffer.
Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also – John 15:20 (NKJV)
Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution – 2 Timothy 3:12 (NKJV)
But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does- James 1:22, 25 (NKJV, emphasis mine)
It really pays to be a Christian, a follower of Christ. But following God has a price attached to it, which when you really consider is very minute compared to the glory that awaits you. The blessings of being a Christian are enormous and they cover your life on earth and life after death, i.e., eternal life in heaven. However, the list of blessings will be for another time.
Let’s consider why Christians suffer. The two basic reasons are: first, for being a Christian and secondly, for being disobedient to God and His words
A. Suffering as a Christian
Jesus made it clear that His followers will suffer persecution because He too suffered persecution – John 15:20. And Paul writing to Timothy in 2 Timothy 3:12, expanded it a little more by saying that all who desire to live godly in Christ will suffer persecution. That means, any Christian who is not suffering persecution is not living godly!
Christian suffering means that you have truly identified with Jesus. The scriptures in 2 Timothy 2:12 (KJV) makes us to understand that if we suffer with Him we will reign with Him but if we deny Him, He will also deny us.
Why Persecution, you may ask? The world is in darkness and desires to remain so (Isaiah 60:2, 2 Timothy 4:3-4). Therefore any form of light is prohibited. They will fight anything or anybody that tries to say or show that they in the wrong. The enemy has blinded them that they may not see the light and be saved – John 12:40. So, he will fight anything or anybody that tries to remove the blindfold.
B. Suffering for disobedience
Many Christians suffer all manner of afflictions like sickness and disease, poverty, failure, depression and frustration, etc. This is not suffering as a Christian. This second basic reason is not God’s plan for a Christian, follower of Christ. His plan is for you to enjoy the blessings of dwelling in Him and Him in you – 1 John 4:13
The scriptures say in Romans 8:32 that if God did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things: good health, financial breakthrough and success, etc.? But Christians don’t enjoy all these most of the time because of disobedience.
Now, the basic areas of disobedience are:
1. Disobedience to the commandment of love.
God demands that you love Him with all your being, your neighbor as yourself and the brethren as Christ loved you (Matthew 22:36-40, John 13:34). Obeying these three commandments of Jesus shields you from all attacks of the enemy. This is because, when you love, you abide in God and God abides in you – 1 John 4:16
God dwells in you in His fullness: His power, riches, wisdom, strength, honour and glory – Revelations 5:12. When you are full of God, no darkness is permitted. And even if they come in for one reason or the other, they can’t stay long because they can’t co-habit you with God. God manifests Himself in the life of the believing Christian who walks in love – John 14:21.
Therefore, disobeying the commandment of love is opening the door for the enemy to afflict you with all manner of evils. In 1 Corinthians 11:20-34, Paul makes us to understand that when we don’t walk in love towards God and man, we become weak ,sick and may die an untimely death.
On the other hand, Solomon loved the Lord and had a large heart for his people, and God gave him wise and understanding heart like no one els