Persecution & Suffering: 1

I am starting a series of posts on the topic of persecution and suffering.  I believe this is an important topic that the church today (especially in the West) does not pay enough attention to.  I would say that this is important because it is a major topic of Scripture.  I also believe it is a major way the Lord grows us as disciples.  In fact, I propose there is more said about how we can grow through persecution and suffering than about how we can grow through Scripture, prayer, and “body life” combined.

I want to make it clear that I am talking about persecution and suffering for doing what is right, not persecution and suffering for the sake of correction or for stupid things we might do.  It is entirely possible to suffer for doing wrong.  Having said that, many of the benefits that come from our proper response to suffering for doing what is right can also accrue to us even as a result of suffering we bring upon ourselves if we respond appropriately.

The major focus of this series is to help us to recognize those intended or possible benefits and respond well to the suffering we experience.  In that way, the suffering will not be wasted.  If we respond poorly then the enemy and the kingdom of darkness will achieve their purpose through it.  God has good intentions for us in all the suffering He allows.  If we respond appropriately, we will be blessed as we experience the good He intends for us.  Let’s cooperate with His intentions for our own good and for the sake of the Kingdom and the King.