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Posts Tagged ‘suffering’

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The modern era of comfort, sanitation, technological innovation, and medicine has spoiled Christians in the western world. We have come to identify wealth, power, and health as a sign that we must be true disciples of Christ. Most have bought into this lie. We live in a culture that positions wealthy television evangelists as true workers of God’s will. We want it our way right away. Even our drive through fast food restaurants have timers so you will know how long you’ve waited in line. Even with the slightest bit of inconvenience, we are upset. The church has absorbed these ideas.

The Bible makes claims that are entirely in opposition to these ideas. Jesus stated that He was sending His disciples out as sheep among wolves and they would be hated because of Him. Paul says that it was his desire to identify with and know the sufferings of the Messiah. He states numerous times that his credibility is bound up in the amount of suffering and perseverance he has endured for the faith. The church fathers rejoiced that they may lay down their lives for the One who saved them. Persecuted churches around the world still have these ideas as part of their culture.

This lie that we have bought has created its own theological underpinnings that shape our worldview, including God Himself. We have begun to believe that we don’t deserve to suffer, to hurt, or to struggle. All of this is part of what we call life. Any theology that must be confined to specific geographical areas should be questioned. Christianity is universal and has flourished in all geographical settings, levels of persecution, and governments. Instead of promising an absence of suffering, we have been promised the grace and strength needed to endure it. Even in the opening chapters of Revelation, Jesus is envisioned in the midst of the candlesticks (read: churches) who are enduring persecution. He is not far off, but there with them. He understands our suffering even to the point that He chose to endure it Himself. It is this felix pecca (happy sin) that saves us.

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The Measure Of Greatness

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