Enduring Hardship in Ministry

Below are some of the verses I have read recently in my Bible (ESV) :

Psalm 17:8-9 Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings, from the wicked who do me violence, my deadly enemies who surround me.

 Matthew 16:21 From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the leaders and chief priests and scribe, and be killed, and on the third day arise.

Matthew 17:12 But I tell you that Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, but did to him whatever they pleased.  So also the Son of Man will certainly suffer at their hands.

Acts 16:23 And when they had inflicted many blows upon them (Paul & Silas) they threw them into prison, ordering the jailer to keep them safely.

2 Timothy 1:8 Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power  of God.

2 Timothy 2:3 Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.

2 Timothy 3:10 You, however, have followed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness, my persecutions and sufferings that happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, and at Lystra-which persecutions I endured;

2 Timothy 3:12 Indeed all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.

Clearly, all of Jesus’ followers will be persecuted.  Honestly, I don’t know that I have made any enemies lately.  I don’t think I have a complex on this issue.  However, it seems clear and plain that if we are living godly lives and faithfully preaching the Gospel then we will upset some.  If this is true then… 

1.  Where are my enemies?

2.  Is my life too insulated?

3.  Am I living a godly life?

4. Am I faithfully preaching the Gospel?

5. Am I ashamed about the testimony of our Lord?

6.  Am I too entangled in the affairs of this world, that I can not share in the sufferings as a good soldier?

7.  Is my desire to live godly greater than my desire to be safe?

Help us Lord to suffer for your sake!

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