Life is full of affliction, even for believers.
It would be nice to be able to say to all believers that life in Christ is a life free from affliction and pain, but that is simply untrue. Jesus promised to His own disciples that in this world you will have tribulation (John 16:33).
The apostle Paul’s own life was a visible demonstration of this truth. In 2 Corinthians, He mentioned repeatedly his sufferings and afflictions—notice the repetition of the word “affliction” in 2 Corinthians 1:4-9. Later in this same letter, he mentioned specifically imprisonments, beatings, stonings, shipwrecks, and many seasons of sleepless nights filled with hunger and thirst and exposure to the cold (2 Corinthians 11:23-27).
Being a follower of Christ does not exempt us from pain, and, in fact, our commitment to Him can often be the source of pain as we take tough stands and witness for Him in our workplaces and communities. The reality of life in this world for the believer is that we, like Paul, might testify of times in which we also despair of life (2 Corinthians 1:8).
What are some afflictions you recently experienced? What afflictions are you currently experiencing? Have you been tempted to think that this suffering is unfair since you are a follower of Christ?
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