The last two days I have spent in Del Mar as an outpatient being desensitized to aspirin. In some ways it has been a mini vacation. I’m away from home. I am spending a large amount of time reading and studying. Today I even ordered food delivered to my room! My mind set puts me in a place of being content with my circumstances. I need to suffer a little while in order to reap a benefit for my long term health. So I chose to suffer for a greater good.
Do I choose to suffer for the greater good of the kingdom of God? How different from the message coming from many mega preachers today. The people living in areas of the world where believing in Christ is an immediate step into ostracization from their social groups or even death know what the verses below really mean.
15 If you suffer, however, it must not be for murder, stealing, making trouble, or prying into other people’s affairs. 16 But it is no shame to suffer for being a Christian. Praise God for the privilege of being called by his name! 17 For the time has come for judgment, and it must begin with God’s household. And if judgment begins with us, what terrible fate awaits those who have never obeyed God’s Good News? 18 And also, “If the righteous are barely saved, what will happen to godless sinners?”[fn]19 So if you are suffering in a manner that pleases God, keep on doing what is right, and trust your lives to the God who created you, for he will never fail you.
Where will we stand when we are judged for our willingness to suffer for the furtherance of the kingdom of God?
Is my fear of suffering greater than my fear of the judgement of God?