How does a Christian become more resilient in suffering? (Part 6 of 6)

Living now in the face of Suffering.

How does a Christian become more resilient in suffering?

Some practical suggestions:

1. Pray – it is a brave person who prays that they may suffer for the sake of Christ! Prayer is one thing that you can do under any circumstance of suffering – and listening, is our Father in heaven. Don’t pray that persecution may stop (the Bible doesn’t say it will!). Don’t pray that you will be rescued (God may have plans for you in your suffering!). Don’t pray that those who make you suffer will be punished (that is not how Jesus prayed!). Instead, pray that you would be strengthened and obedient through your suffering. Pray also for other Christians who experience different degrees of suffering to you (Eph 6:18-20

2. Reset your expectations – The Apostle Peter suggests that Christian take the same attitude as Christ. Expect that a part of the Christian life (not all of it) will involve some tough stuff and that will be most acute when you stand for your faith. Peter’s strategy in the face of the suffering was to remember the Lord, recognise that standing for Jesus does not put you at fault, and realise there is no reason to be ashamed (1 Peter 4:14-16)

3. Proclaim Jesus – know what you believe so that when put on the spot you are able to stand firm for Jesus (c.f. Eph 6:14-17, 19-20). One of the best ways to defend yourself, is to continue to proclaim Christ (John 15:27).

4. Love those who make you suffer – Jesus in the Sermon of the Mount taught his disciples to ‘Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you’ (Matt 5:44 c.f. Romans 12:14, 17-21). There is a humility that demonstrates a Christlike attitude which is on display whenever a Christian suffers.

5. Recharge – You have been given a Christian family who can be a wonderful support. Under God, use them to help you recharge and then return to continue standing firm for Jesus (Heb 10:24-25).

Christian suffering when put into a Christ-shaped perspective calls for a resilience that trusts that God will one day put all things right. Christians should live out the good will of God not just at times of comfort and convenience but also in the times of challenge, conflict or persecution.

‘And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen’.                              (1 Peter 5:10)

 

For more in this Series:

Resilient in Suffering

If you are going to live for Christ, are you willing to make a stand?

Living for Christ will involve Suffering!

Strategies for Resilience in Suffering

Suffering and Judgement

How does a Christian become more resilient in suffering?

 

How does a Christian organise their Godly Giving? (Part 4 of 4)

Over the generations, across the world, and right to your local church family, there will be numerous examples of godly and generous givers. Among those who have given, are many who have given even at times of extreme poverty or hardship (Luke 21:1-4; 2 Cor 8:2). It is right and proper to be immensely thankful to God for these saints (maybe you are one such person). Under God, what has been given has served the gospel and those the gospel has reached for centuries. Godly giving, although rarely put on display, is a wonderful testimony to the power and gift of the gospel. Praise God.

So how should a Christian organise their godly giving?

Let’s look first at our priorities and then at the practical mechanics!

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What does a Christian do with the Bible?

What place should the Bible have in a Christians life? Any tips?

An essential Christian discipline is to read or listen to the Bible regularly through the week. It would be a shame if the secular news cycle had more of a voice into your life each week than the Word of God.

The battle to put the Word of God before the word of the world is ongoing. Each time you read or watch the news (an activity which in itself is not wrong), you subject yourself to the opinions of the journalist who is accountable only to an opinion that makes news! Our secular press are rarely accountable to anyone but their ratings – it is not difficult for truth to get lost or skewed in the pursuit of a growing readership.

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Book Review: 40 Rockets

40 Rockets – Encouragement and tips for turbocharging your evangelism at work by Craig Josling & City Bible Forum (Sydney: Matthias Media, 2017).

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For any worker, so much of any given week is given to a job. For any Christian worker, this is their prime mission field.

Yet, how do you make the most of that opportunity? It is scary at points. There are risks. There are restrictions and workplace guidelines all of which need to be obeyed. No one said that talking about Jesus was a picnic, yet it is still our commission.

This book attempts to help – in a very practical sense.

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Side by Side – Part 3 (of 3)

The first two posts in this series have offered two observations coming out of 1 Timothy 5:1-16 which may help a church family to further consider what it means to honour and care for those who are most vulnerable.

In the first post, we observed that the widow of 1 Tim 5 was akin to the ‘vulnerable’ today.

In the second post, we observed that when caring for a person in need – everyone is different and everyone can play a part. Five pointers were offered in how to do that.

In this last post, I would like to recommend a good book that works hard to offer principled and practical suggestions for getting alongside a person whom we are trying to love.

Side by Side – Walking with Others in Wisdom and Love by Edward T. Welch (Wheaton: Crossway, 2015).

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Side by Side by Edward Welch is a quick and helpful read, written by a Christian counselor who has practiced and written in the fields of depression, fear and addiction for decades.

The aim of the book is to identify skills that Christians can learn and then use in caring for others. His basic idea is that those who help best are the ones who both need help and give help.

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What does a ‘Personal Devotion’ look like?

Personal Devotion

I had become a Christian around the age of twenty, it was six months on. One of my new friends, a Christian guy whom I had met at church asked me: ‘How are you enjoying the Christian Life’!

How would you answer that?

I had no idea what to say. ‘Um…it’s good I guess!…I am enjoying finding out more about Jesus…Um…is that what you were asking?’

Seeing my discomfort, he asked ‘Are you enjoying your Personal Devotions?’

Well now I was totally lost! What on earth did he mean by ‘personal devotions’ – is he asking if I have stuffed up like I used too? (the answer was yes, but I didn’t really want to tell him that). Was there something that I was supposed to be doing that I had not read in the manual of How to be a good Christian?!

‘Um, I’m not sure what you mean’ I ventured. ‘Your Quiet Times?’ he said. Nope, still no help. Maybe being a Christian meant that sometime in the day I was supposed to be silent and quiet, and although I didn’t think I was particularly loud, I know that I had not given any thought to the idea of being quiet!  Oh help.

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