Prediction of Suffering
Christians often predict great suffering.
What is the difference between a healthy, spiritual view of suffering and an unhealthy anticipation?
Jesus models an appropriate anticipation of suffering in Luke 22:39-46. He balances his natural desire to avoid suffering with a clear submission to God’s will.
In Acts 5, we get a different perspective on suffering. In verses 40-42, we learn that Peter and some others “rejoiced” that they had the privilege of suffering for the name of Jesus.
It is better to suffer unjustly for doing God’s work than it is to suffer justly at the hands of the law and people.
The key is to focus on God’s work and purposes. Jesus and the apostles didn’t go looking for a fight. Their suffering was at the hands of people who didn’t like their message of truth.
When I suffer, it’s usually a result of my selfishness and sin. I won’t pray to avoid all suffering, but I will pray today that when I do experience suffering, it becomes more and more a reflection of my faith.