Through Many Tribulations We Must Enter The Kingdom of God

Some believers are very surprised when they are called to suffer. They thought they would do some great thing for God, but all God permits them to do is to suffer. Just suppose you could speak with those who have gone to be with the Lord; everyone has a different story, yet everyone has a tale of suffering. One was persecuted by family and friends…another was inflicted with pain and disease, neglected by the world…another was bereaved of children…another had all these afflictions. But you will notice that though the water was deep, they all have reached the other side. Not one of them blames God for the road He led them; ‘Salvation’ is their only cry. Are there any of you, dear children, murmuring at your lot? Do not sin against God. This is the way God leads all His redeemed ones.

 Robert McCheyne


It Will Cost You!

In the days of hardship, particularly persecution, those who are in the process of becoming Christians count the cost of discipleship carefully before taking up the cross of the Nazarene. Preachers do not beguile them with false promises of an easy life or indulgence of sins. But in good times, the cost does not seem so high, and people take the name of Christ without undergoing the radical transformation of life that true conversion implies

 James Montgomery Boice
(Christ’s Call to Discipleship)

The Good Life

No one wants to suffer but no one is exempt from suffering. Since suffering is inevitable for all of us, why not learn how to suffer well. I started a new book by Owen Strachan and Doug Sweeney: The Essential of Jonathan Edwards on the Good Life. Here is a quote from the book:

This is the truly good life, the path plotted for mankind by almighty God. It involves sacrifice, and hardship, and hard work. It requires self-denial, self-abasement, and an others-centered mindset. It is radically God-centered and deeply rooted in Scripture. This, and no other path, leads to lasting happiness for the souls of human beings.

Great! A good life in every sense is a suffering life :). If I have to sacrifice, go through hardship and hard work that requires me to self-denial, self-abasement and others-centered mindset, I am definitely suffering. It means giving up my sinful nature! Jesus speaks of this good life in Matthew 5:3-12 ESV.

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

To attain the good life we must make war with the flesh (Romans 7:21-24 ESV [21 ] So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. [22 ] For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, [23 ] but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members.) We must also trust and lean on the sovereignty of God and obey His Word. We must ask God to work in us from the inside out. We must reach the deepest part of our soul and make choices and responses contrary to our flesh. I will end with this quote from R.C. Sproul:

“God, in his providence, has the power and the will to work all things together for good for his people. This does not mean that everything that happens to us is, in itself, good. Really bad things do happen to us. But they are only proximately bad; they are never ultimately bad. That is, they are bad only in the short (proximate) term, never in the long-term. Because of the triumph of God’s goodness in all things, he is able to bring good for us out of the bad. He turns our tragedies into supreme blessings.”

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