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Rejoice in Sufferings

"Who now rejoice in my sufferings." (Col. 1:24)."And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name" (Acts 5:41).

The Christian life is many times a paradox to human nature; it calls upon us to act in ways which are contrary to what would seem to come naturally. It is often hard to react to situations in a Christ-like manner due to the weakness of the flesh. When men persecute us, and revile us, and say all manner of evil against us our natural inclination is to reply in kind. We sometimes not only desire to take vengeance, but we go ahead and do it, forgetting that the Bible says, "Vengeance is mine: I will repay, saith the Lord." (Romans 12:19). And also, "See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men." (1 Thess. 5:15).

We do not live in a time when physical suffering for Christ is a necessity; when men strip us of our clothing and whip us before the public eye for preaching or practicing the gospel. But, if we are living as we should we are suffering some kind of persecution because Paul says, "Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution." (2 Timothy 3:12). Most of us our suffering today is mental. It consists mostly of reviling and saying all manner of evil against us because of what we stand for. Men, being unable to answer what we affirm, attribute positions to us we never held in an effort to build resentment against us in the minds of others. This is the most common form of persecution in our time. From some points of view, it is the worst kind of persecution. We are sometimes helpless to overcome its evil results due to its affinity for darkness and secrecy.

But, regardless of the form persecution takes, the Christian will react in the same manner. He will not use carnal weapons in his defense, but will take the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God (Eph. 6:17), and pull down strongholds; cast down imaginations and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. (2 Corinthians 10: 4-5). He will not whimper and whine as though he were the first and last to suffer for Christ. He will never feel humiliated, but rather exalted because he knows he does not walk alone.

via BIBLE TRUTH, May 12, 1960