Following Jesus and suffering seem to go hand in hand

2 Desember 2019

Dear family

Following Jesus and suffering seem to go hand in hand. It is true in our personal lives as well as in ministry. There is a cost involve in being a disciple, in making disciples.

I wonder if you know what I’m talking about?  If so, I want to remind you that you are not the only one. We share in an experience of a life with Christ. I want to encourage you today. Press on. Keep following. Dive even more into the life and strategy of Jesus.

At key moments in your life in Christ and in ministry, tragedy seems to strike.

Dan Allender writes in his book Cry of the Soul, “Suffering may be caused by the hand of an enemy, but God uses sorrow for the sake of redemption.”

There are two main things that make the cost worth it. 

One is that in the midst of the pain we encounter, we know God more. Secondly, we have the joy of knowing our sacrifice will not be wasted.

While painful and extremely difficult, together with suffering comes blessing. 

1. In the midst of the pain, we encounter and know God.

Many times, in the midst of loss and pain it feels as if God is silent or distant. He is not. As we walk through the hardship, He reveals Himself.

The outcome:

We have scars but are deeper in our faith. Faith that has been tested is a stronger kind of faith. The fire of adversity allows the true nature of God’s love to surface within our struggling hearts. 

2. There is joy in knowing our sacrifice will not be wasted.

Lost people will be found by our Almighty God. The unreached will know the power of His radical, unconditional love. Whether today, tomorrow or years from now, the seeds sown by our tears and pain will bear much fruit.   

I believe this with my whole heart.

 “Now if we are children, then we are heirs — heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in His sufferings in order that we may also share in His glory.” Romans 8: 17- NIV

We identify with Jesus’ pain at the cross as we willingly accept the trials we face as ambassadors of good news. “For the hope set before Him, he endured the cross…” (Heb. 12:2).

As Tim Hansel writes, “Pain is inevitable, but misery is optional.” 

We don’t have to be miserable. Living our lives full of hope is our inheritance from God. Press in to discover God’s goodness and character in the midst of your difficulty. Hold onto the dream and remember the promises of God. He is faithful. Your suffering will not be in vain.

There will be hardships when you try to redirect the body of Christ towards a disciple making lifestyle in all spheres of life. It shows you are on the right track – the track of truth and life.

If you feel the price is too high. Be real with God. Tell Him how you feel. Receive His strength and grace today.

Let us pray for each other.

Thank you for the journey together.

Blessings and love

dirk

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