Suffering in Obedience to God

I read an extraordinary book I wish all could read:  The Insanity of God by Nik Ripken. It’s a collection of testimonies from our brothers and sisters in Christ who are suffering around the world today—persecuted for their faith in Jesus Christ as normal Christianity.  That’s right!  Suffering is NORMAL Christianity for them!

I rejoiced to learn how the gospel continues to spread worldwide, despite horrible demonic opposition.  Yet I wanted to weep with sadness as the lukewarm Christianity of much of the American Church was exposed as a shameful counterfeit.

Does it surprise you that many churches in America are lukewarm and as such, are counterfeit?   Jesus said in Revelation 3:  “Because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.”

I certainly don’t want to be lukewarm in my faith.  Life often requires sacrifice and suffering. Yes, life is short. Very short. It’s getting shorter every day.

Romans 8:18 tells us that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us someday.  In my own life I have gone so far as to give thanks for the difficult times.  Is that hard to do?  It’s VERY hard!

Obedience is not easy!  Yet obedience is what God wants from us.   Ephesians 5:20 tells us to give thanks for all things. We may have to grit our teeth to say it, but when we are obedient in this, we are showing God that we are trusting Him in this difficult situation, even if we don’t like it. Trusting God is what the Christian life is all about. When we are obedient God rewards us.

We may not see the reward right away, but it will come. Meanwhile, we will experience peace, joy and contentment in knowing we have obeyed and pleased God.

  • always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.    Ephesians 5:2
  • I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot.  I wish you were either one or the other!  So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.  Revelation 3:15-16
  • I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.    John 16:33
  • SONG: GOD IS READYby Kathleen:

     

About Kathleen

God delights in working through His people as they submit to Him. Jesus said to go into all the world and preach the good news to everyone (Mark 16:15). No matter where we live on this planet, people are separated from God because of sin. We ALL need a Savior, and there’s only ONE. It brings me great joy to share Christ with the lost and lonely. Over the years I’ve learned a great deal while facilitating Bible studies. I’ve found myself on college and university campuses, the beach, the streets, the hospital, the jail and the juvenile facility for incarcerated teens sharing God’s message of love. I also serve as an online missionary with Global Media Outreach. I’ve seen countless lives transformed when people turn away from sin and turn to Jesus. The changes God makes are real and lasting. These are some of my experiences. NOTE: My stories have been altered, removing any and all identifying factors. This includes names and other particulars in order to protect confidentiality and anonymity.
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13 Responses to Suffering in Obedience to God

  1. Wendy says:

    Kathleen, I’m glad I followed the link from Liana’s blog to yours. More and more I see the purifying power of suffering. It keeps our faith honest, and draws us to Him. There’s no better place to be.
    Blessings ~ Wendy

    • Kathleen says:

      Dear Wendy, I’m glad you followed her link as well! Your expression regarding suffering: “It keeps our faith honest” is profoundly true. Thank you!

  2. Liana says:

    Don’t know if I’ve shared this before; but the Lord once gave me this.
    JOY … Just Obey Yahweh.
    No, obedience isn’t easy and maybe that is why so many of us have so little joy!

    • Kathleen says:

      I don’t know if I’ve shared this before: Happiness and joy are not really the same. Happiness is the result of something that happens. Joy is a fruit of God’s Spirit that abides within us when we are obedient. This joy keeps us above our circumstances. Joy is better than happiness.

  3. Dyson says:

    Even though Jesus was God’s Son, he learned obedience from the things he suffered. Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered.

  4. Goldie says:

    Thank you Kathleen. My husband often says, “the church is asleep!” I wonder when they will awaken. Oh, may God send that song many places. It was precious.
    Take time to listen everyone. The robin and the sparrow are smarter than we are. Yes, I can look back to see that any small suffering (compared to persecuted church) I have gone through has brought blessing and joy to me and to many others. Goldie

  5. Dave says:

    Thank you Kathleen, I really needed that this morning. God’s timing is perfect!

  6. David madsen says:

    Excellent post Kathleen, and sooo sadly true!!! The American church has loss its first love, we most not avoid persecution but speak the truth in love.

  7. Frank King says:

    Great post, Kathleen. You are so right. The Christian church in America is so lukewarm. The Lord does not like a lukewarm church. And I am not sure what will reverse the current trend so we can have the kind of spiritual fervor God is looking for in His Church.

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