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Suffering is rewarding

Depression is real and even hard-core Jesus believers are not exempt from this. Living a life of ministry can lead us to a lot of frustrations, surrendered dreams, and disappointments. It may also open the door towards suffering and challenges that are almost unusual and discomforting. So how do we rise from our seemingly defeating situations?

In my blog series #KeepGoing, I hope to share with you 3 things that motivated the Apostle Paul to continue his Christian walk despite all the depressing things that happened to him. Arguably, no other follower has ever experienced much suffering than what the Apostle Paul experienced.

“Suffering [for the ministry] is actually, very rewarding”

In my own words, that is what Apostle Paul is saying thru his words in 2 Corinthians 4:10 “Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.11 Yes, we live under constant danger of death because we serve Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may be evident in our dying bodies.

Apostle Paul tells us that if we endure suffering for a while, we will actually display Jesus in our lives and being able to make Jesus so evident in our lives is a Christian’s great reward more than anything else. In fact, if becoming like Christ no longer makes us so excited then maybe Jesus is no longer the desires of our hearts – and that is more than alarming!

We need to trace ourselves back to its purpose and remind ourselves that our ultimate pursuit should be that of apostle Paul – to make Jesus shine in our lives – and most often, this can only happen when we suffer for his glory.

Just as a jar of perfume will not be able to release its fragrance if not shattered, the aroma of Jesus cannot be evident in our lives unless we get broken.

Paul said that before the life of Jesus will be revealed in our body, we have to bear his death in our bodies. Paul was not saying that we need to also be crucified on the cross, but we know the cross symbolizes something. Cross means rejection, discomfort, disturbance, servanthood, suffering, sacrifice, losses. Yet Paul is also confident that while he will experience so many loss, loss of reputation, loss of energy, loss of comfort, of security, of possessions, of titles – he might lose everything, but by it, he will gain Christ. What an indispensable reward!

So even if we are persecuted for our faith, Keep Going.

Even if some relationships need to end for the sake of Christ, Keep Going.

Even if our possessions and most prized dreams need to be laid down, Keep Going.

Author: angelittle

Angelittle is the creator of Deeply Rooted Devotional Notebook and other resources that help disciples love the Bible. She is a preacher, worship team leader, and disciple-maker at Sea Gentiles for Christ Ministries Zamboanga. She is currently a scholar at Grace School of Theology.

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