I’ve been thinking a lot about suffering lately. I suppose it’s because in my studies God has been talking a lot about suffering.
As I was studying 1 Thess I learned that we are destined for suffering. (3:3) And in 1Peter 4:12 we are reminded that we shouldn’t be surprised by suffering, for the believer will experience it. James tells us to consider trials as pure joy in chapter 1:2. And in Acts 14:22 we are told that in order to enter the kingdom of God we must go through many tribulations
So I ask, “Is there a reason we do not suffer as a church in America? Other Christians suffer in other nations, why don’t we? Some will say it’s because we have freedom of speech, of religion etc… But do we?
Maybe we do not suffer as a child of God because we do not make a stand. The Government says a teacher can’t talk about God in school. We are told we shouldn’t talk about God in the work place. We are told when and where and how we can speak of God. The world is slowly putting a gag order on Christians and we are silent. We fear speaking truth so we stay silent.
Would we suffer as believers if we did make a stand? Would Christian teachers find it difficult to stay teaching? Would you lose your job? If the American Christian began to boldly share the gospel would we suffer for it?
These are the questions I have been asking myself. Why do I remain silent in circumstances where I have been told by the government that I should? Why remain silent at all?
Can I say with Paul that I have boldness in my God to speak the gospel amid much opposition?
I’m just wondering, do we not suffer in America for our faith because we have freedom or because we have allowed the enemy to silence us through the government?
God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God, who has saved us and called us to a holy life…That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day.
(2 Tim 1:7-12)