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VICTORY: What Does It Mean To Suffer Like Jesus Christ and How Do Christians Overcome Suffering?



Can us Christians, like Jesus, be scourged or whipped to a bloody pulp, suffer excruciating pain, be forced to carry our own heavy wooden cross to the hill where we will be summarily executed, nailed to the cross and crucified by the Roman Empire?


No. Of course not.


Suffering like Christ means that Christians can, however, be maltreated and suffer for being true to the moral standards of Almighty God, for rightfully alerting the world to the truth in order to correct widespread deception or injustice.


But to God be the glory! Because persecuted and suffering Christians are eternally blessed by Jesus Christ.


Being Persecuted, Suffering For Righteousness’ Sake


Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 5:10).


True Christians are declared righteous and justified as if we have never sinned by having faith in Jesus Christ and by the blood sacrifice he made on the cross of crucifixion - appeasing God the Father who effectively took away the sins of the world (Romans 5).


He also promised eternal life to whosoever believes in His sacrifice.


Christians suffer like Jesus in that we are persecuted because of His examples of moral righteousness that we follow. Morality in relationships, marriage, truth-telling, speaking boldly to corrupt and evil powers and exposing widespread evil.


What should we do then, in the face of unjust suffering for righteousness’ sake?


But and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled (1 Peter 3:14).


We Shall Overcome Unjust Suffering


For this is commendable, if because of conscience toward God one endures grief, suffering wrongfully (1 Peter 2:9).


During the 1960’s civil rights movement, some commendable Christians who led Freedom Riders, marchers and protesters seeking to overturn unjust laws and practices were imprisoned, tortured, severely beaten and mistreated to the point of suffering death.


For what credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently? But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God (1 Peter 2:20).


How did the civil rights Christians overcome their suffering? By persevering, praying, reading the Bible, singing, fellowshiping, believing and staying true to the righteousness of Almighty God.


Persevere, Persist and Endure


Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him (James 1:12).


Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he that condemns? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.


By enduring until the end and remaining faithful to the ways of the Lord, Christians become inseparable from God.


Unable to Be Separated From Loving Jesus Christ


Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, for thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter (Romans 8:33-36).


Christians can overcome suffering for righteousness’ sake by remembering that we are more than conquerors.


More Than Conquerors


"Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 8:37 - 39).


Conclusion


We suffer like Christ suffered for His righteousness in that we are hated like the evil-dominated world hated Him. We overcome our suffering and tests by praying, reading the Bible, enduring whatever trials and tribulations come our way, by taking up the cross of faith, following the moral standards of God and speaking boldly in the name of truth, justice and the righteous way.


Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord (1 Corinthians 15:58).



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