“But let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or as a busybody in other people’s matters. Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian” (1 Pet. 4:15-16 NKJ).
Not all suffering in Christianity is equal. In fact, at least three types of suffering can be identified in the scriptures. Of these three that will be listed here, only one of them is acceptable and the others are unnecessary suffering. This might come as a shock to some of you, but not all of the suffering we go through is warranted.
The scripture above lists two types of Christian suffering. It says “if anyone suffers as a Christian.” This is the most well-known type of Christian suffering. It is essentially going through hardship, persecution, or some other pressure because of your faith in Christ or because you are living or doing His work. It also says, “let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief.” This is a second type. We suffer because of our own sins and weaknesses. When we steal and get punished for it, we are not suffering as a Christian, but paying the price for our own faults. The Lord says do not suffer like this. It is unnecessary. Gal. 4:3 tells of another unnecessary type of suffering: suffering because of our immaturity—either ignorance, unbelief, or sheer disobedience. If we get oppressed by Satan or demons and suffer because of it, it is unnecessary suffering. The day we grow up and know who we are and what is ours, that kind of suffering stops. It does not depend on God, but on you. Do not suffer unnecessarily.
Reflect on your life today. Is there any unnecessary suffering you are going through?
APPLY THE WORD
What would you do with the information above? Could you be suffering because you are ignorant of something?
Ask the Lord to help you to suffer only because you believe in Him and not because of your faults, sins, ignorance, or immaturity in faith.
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