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God Makes Christians Better Through Suffering

If you are going to stand up for Christ then expect only persecution, persecution and more persecution.  2 Timothy 3:12 warns, "Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution."  Because Christians are destined to live godly then it is really only expected that they are destined to suffer persecution.  Do not ever believe the lie that if  you do what is right you will never get into trouble.  Doing right may mean you do not get in trouble with God but it there is a high guarantee you get in trouble with the world.  God may be pleased with the Christian for opposing legalization of certain sins but the world will definitely not like that person.  If you are going to stand up for Christ then you might as well expect to go home to be with your Heavenly Father.

The illustration of suffering making the Christian better is in John 15:1-8.  The Christians are the fruitful branches while the false converts are the branches that are cast into the fire.  Because God sees that the Christian will inevitably bear fruit then He wisely prunes away what causes the fruit bearing to be inconsistent.  The parable of the sower talked about how good soil hearers bear different degrees of fruit as a result of salvation.  To make a bountiful harvest one must diligently work to get rid of the hindrances.  Christians need suffering in order to bear much fruit.  When it comes to God pruning the branches the lesson has always been to make Christians do better and not to be bitter towards suffering.

I do not dare deny Christians can be bitter at times like they can also fall into periods of carnality but they do not become bitter indefinitely.  As the Christian growth has not always been moving up then there are periods where they can become bitter towards suffering.  It is sometimes possible to question God at times and ask why He allowed Christians to suffer while the wicked to prosper like Habakkuk did.  God has His purpose in allowing Christians to suffer like by taking away their material blessings so they will learn to rely more on His provision.  Becoming a Christian was never a guarantee you will win every contest, become popular and on the spotlight because as Jesus warned many times, if you are going to follow Him then it may even cost you your life.  Fortunately, God gives grace to the Christian to endure to the end.

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