We are in the last week of our series on biblical womanhood. We have looked at five important doctrines that a woman seeking biblical womanhood should stand firm upon in her life. It is because of these doctrines that we affirm a number of beliefs that are central to the Christian faith and those desiring to practice biblical womanhood. This week we will finish up with several principles that women need to understand and put into practice in our lives to help demonstrate biblical womanhood.
We may think of suffering as dealing with sickness, financial or relationship difficulties, and death. However, these are really consequences of sin. When sin entered the world everything began to decay, die. This decay is what causes sickness and physical death. Some suffering (and sickness) may be due to our or others sinful choices. The suffering we refer to in the following statement is not the suffering of sin consequences.
Suffering is an inevitable reality in a fallen world; at times we will be called to suffer for doing what is good – looking to heavenly reward rather than earthly comfort – for the sake of the gospel and the advancement of Christ’s Kingdom.
In the news today, we hear of Christians being beheaded for their faith. Christians are being displaced and seeking refuge away from their tormentors. While this level of persecution has yet to reach our country, Christians in the United States are losing their livelihoods for taking stands against gay marriage. Saying “Merry Christmas,” having a nativity scene, or singing Christmas carols with a religious theme are all under fire. Some may face scorn from classmates and teachers for writing or drawing religious themed projects. Others may face ridicule for homeschooling or sending their children to Christian schools based on religious conviction. These areas are certainly not to the extreme that our brothers and sisters in Christ are experiencing in the underground churches around the world, but it is the beginning of the “intolerance” that is coming to the American church.
Perhaps the best reminder of why persecution takes place is found in God’s words to Samuel when the people rejected God’s man and desired a king like all the other nations.
1 Samuel 8:7, And the Lord said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them.
It is not we as Christians that the world truly hates, we are simply the easy target. The world truly hates the One True God. Those who worship, serve, and claim Christ as Savior are in direct opposition to the world.
As you read the following verses, remember that we will suffer for doing right, for following God’s plan, for bringing God glory. It is not personal. It is the rejection of our Savior, Jesus Christ. When we remember that, we will be able to pray for those who despise us and persecute us.
Matthew 5:10-12, Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. 12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
2 Corinthians 4:17-18, For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; 18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal. (Recommend to read all of 2 Corinthians 4.)
James 1:12, Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.
1 Peter 2:19-23, For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. 20 For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. 21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: 22 Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: 23 Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously:
1 Peter 3:12-17, For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil. 13 And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good? 14 But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; 15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: 16 Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ. 17 For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing.
1 Peter 4:14-16, If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified. 15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters. 16 Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.
The framework of this series was taken from the True Woman Manifesto provided through Revive Our Hearts Ministry.