Posted by: SandreS | July 14, 2009

What Is Suffering?

James Strong gives us some words by which we can glean a better understanding of the word “suffer”:

hardship, pain, affliction, lack (insufficiency), trouble, pressure, etc.

Webster defines suffering as “the bearing of pain, inconvenience or loss.” Of course, the key here is the word “bearing.”

What does the Scripture teach concerning suffering?

It Is God’s Gift to the Believer:

For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on Him, but also to suffer for His sake (Philippians 1:29).

It Is the Believer’s Appointment:

That no man should be moved by these afflictions: for yourselves know that we are appointed thereunto (I Thessalonians 3:3).

It Is a Spiritual Fruit:

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering (Galatians 5:22; c.f. I Corinthians 13:47).

Our English wordlongsuffering” is a compound word, i.e., “long” and “suffering,” which means to suffer a long time. Spiritual fruit does not include “deliverance;” quite the contrary, it produces God’s attribute of longsuffering in the life of the believer.

It Is Actually Christ’s Sufferings Which Believers Are Called to Bear:

Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for His Body’s sake, which is the church (Colossians 1:24).

For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us (II Corinthians 1:5).

But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when His glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy (I Peter 4:13).

Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
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