Facts of the Matter

A weekly letter of encouragement and challenge to business and professional men and women
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Dear Colleagues,


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We continue in our discussion as to why we suffer:


God allows His disciples to suffer through persecution:

Everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecutedIf the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.  Remember the words I spoke to you: 'No servant is greater than his master.' If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also (2 Tim. 3:12; Jn. 15:18-20). (See Matt. 5:10-12; Jn. 17:14; Heb. 11:32-39; I Pet. 4:10, 12-14) 

God allows suffering through Satans harassment:


Jesus: My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. Paul:  Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devourResist [Satan], standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings (Jn. 17:15; I Pet. 5:8, 9). (See Matt. 6:13; 13:19;  Jn. 8:44; Lk. 13:16; 2 Cor. 2:11; Eph. 2:2; 1 Tim. 3:6,7; 2 Tim. 2:26; 1 Thess. 2:18)

God ordains that we take on the suffering of Christ:

[Christs] followers partake of His vicarious suffering, and fill up…. that which is lacking of the afflictions of Christ. Here, surely is a profound thought which may throw a flood of light on the deep mystery of human affliction. The cross of Christ furnishes the key to the meaning of sorrow as the greatest redemptive force in the universe. 1 

Now I rejoice in what was suffered for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ's afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the churchI want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his deathBut rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. (Col. 1:24; Phil. 3:10; 1 Pet. 4:13). (See Act. 4:13; 2 Tim. 3:12; Heb. 11:32-38; I Pet. 2:20, 21)

This week, may you experience His grace, peace, and protection.

R. Dwight Hill

1 The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

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