1. Stephen

    Thanks for the reminder. These are good thoughts. It made me ask the question: “Why should I suffer? What is the reason we should take joy in suffering?” After trying to think of some things myself, I realized you (and Paul) already gave an answer. I love that his reason is that it will make us “be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.” It’s so cool – his glory is revealed! To others, by the acts for which we suffer and by the suffering itself, and the attitude in which we accept it. His glory is also revealed to the sufferer, because I think it brings about changes in us – we get to participate in His suffering and we get to learn to be more like him by accepting it – by learning to love with passion (i.e. suffering), by learning patience and humility, and many other ways. I also think we are enabled to take joy immediately because we know that suffering, when done for His Kingdom, is an indicator that we’re doing something right; in the future we can be overjoyed that we were taking part in His Kingdom coming.

    In response to your comments in not having a complaining or entitlement-seeking heart, I’d say that we do get some of the fruit mentioned above with the suffering itself, regardless of our take on it. But it prevents us from receiving others and so we don’t get the full fruit!

    Thanks again for posting! I think this will help me take more from reverse culture shock right now.

  2. “If I may speak my own experience, I find that to keep my eye simply on Christ, as my peace and my life, is by far the hardest part of my calling….It seems easier to deny self in a thousand instances of outward conduct, than in its ceaseless endeavors to act as a principle of righteousness and power.”

    – John Newton (Works of John Newton)

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