Christian morals



30. Should a Christian suffer? Is it normal for a Christian to suffer?



Yes, a Christian must suffer because to him it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake (Philippians 1:29). Sufferings are caused by persecutions, insults, needs and many other things which we may endure for Christ’s sake.

On the other hand, if Jesus Christ, from whom the name ‘Christian’ derives, had to suffer many things at the hands of His enemies (the world) in order to be glorified, we must not be surprised if also those who believe in Him and follow His steps suffer.

Jesus Christ said to His disciples: “If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you” (John 15:20) and again: “But before all these, they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name's sake. …. And ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake” (Luke 21:12, 16-17). The apostles Paul and Barnabas said that “we must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God” (Acts 14:22 – NKJV). That ‘must’, as you can see, shows that tribulations are part of the Christian life. Furthermore, tribulations are useful to us because through them we become patient. For Paul says: “And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope” (Romans 5:3-4 - NKJV), and James confirms this concept by saying: “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing” (James 1:2-4).

Therefore, do not be surprised at the various sufferings you will endure for Christ’s sake: we are appointed to this, that is, to suffer (1 Thessalonians 3:3). And see that you endure them as a good soldier of Jesus Christ, knowing that “if we endure, we shall also reign with Him” (2 Timothy 2:12 – NKJV), and that “the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18 – NKJV).