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Suffering of believers

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Believers ought to expect to suffer as an inevitable part of their calling. To believe is not to evade suffering; it is to face it with new confidence and hope. Rightly approached, suffering develops the character of believers, equips them for more effective service, draws believers closer to Jesus Christ and prepares them for eternal life.

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Believers must expect suffering

Jesus Christ foretold it

Matthew 10:22 NASB95
“You will be hated by all because of My name, but it is the one who has endured to the end who will be saved.
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The apostles foretold it

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The experience of the OT shows it

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The experience of the NT shows it

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Suffering for Jesus Christ is commendable

Matthew 5:10–12 NASB95
“Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. “Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
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Suffering is profitable

It affirms believers’ adoption

Hebrews 12:7 NASB95
It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline?
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It is the price of godliness

Hebrews 12:11 NASB95
All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.
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It is a condition of service

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It develops trust

2 Corinthians 1:9 NASB95
indeed, we had the sentence of death within ourselves so that we would not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead;
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It develops character

Romans 5:3–4 NASB95
And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope;
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It deepens fellowship

1 Corinthians 12:26 NASB95
And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.
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It draws believers to the Lord

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It prepares believers for heaven

2 Corinthians 4:16–5:4 NASB95
Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal. For we know that if the earthly tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For indeed in this house we groan, longing to be clothed with our dwelling from heaven, inasmuch as we, having put it on, will not be found naked. For indeed while we are in this tent, we groan, being burdened, because we do not want to be unclothed but to be clothed, so that what is mortal will be swallowed up by life.
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