JOY Magazine

Audrey Hardy

“For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him.”
– Philippians 1:29


In the church today, there is which Christians believe to mean that we don’t have to endure suffering at all. Yet, the New Testament has a lot to say about suffering. In 1 Peter 4:12, we see Peter encouraging the early church to not consider it something strange to find themselves in the and that this is absolutely normal for Christians. In 2 Timothy 3:11, Paul names a few places where he endured suffering and persecution. He goes even further in Colossians 1:24, declaring that he would be glad to add to the sufferings of Christ. In 2 Timothy 2:3 he exhorts Timothy to endure hardship as a soldier of Christ. Isaiah 53:3 refers to Jesus as Are believers greater than the Master? If Jesus instructs us to take up our cross and follow Him, how can we somehow be exempt from suffering? Brothers and sisters, we are called to identify with Christ in His suffering, His death, and in His resurrection. Suffering is an integral part of that, and it is an honour and a privilege to do so, giving glory to God through these times. Our family has experienced much persecution throughout our walk with the Lord. Yet, by His grace, we have been able to keep our hearts from getting hard or bitter. I can only say that through it all, we have grown – and, as Paul says, Therefore, we should not run away from suffering, instead, let’s understand that while undergoing it, we are growing more and more in His likeness, even as Christ is being formed in us.

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