Monday, April 27, 2009


“But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God.” (2 Tim 1:8b)

I’m reading 2 Timothy and was hit hard with this verse. So many questions came to mind.

What does it mean to suffer for the gospel?

Is this suffering the same for everyone?

Am I suffering for the gospel?

What do I need to do to suffer for the gospel?

I wrestled with this verse. Some days I feel as if I go through the day with no NEED for Jesus. I am in complete control of every aspect of my day: my travel, my job, my time with people – everything. Then I read this verse and realize that I am called to suffer for the gospel! How do I do that when I’m not even sure what it means?! Like today, what have I done that has caused me to suffer for the gospel of Jesus? Or what will I do for that matter?

I asked some of my peeps what on earth Paul meant by this verse. Basically it is literal suffering and hardships. Let’s look at the ministry that Jesus lived on this earth. He was homeless. He hung out with the “wrong crowd.” He was questioned constantly. He was tempted. He was beaten. He was nailed to a cross. He suffered.

Look at the life of the disciples. They left everything that was familiar to them to follow Jesus. They were questioned, ridiculed, shunned, and (several of them) martyred. That is literal suffering and hardships.

The crazy part of this is that they CHOSE this life! Jesus, his disciples, Moses, Abraham, Paul, John, the list goes on – they all suffered (literally) for the gospel. They heard the call of God and CHOSE to follow it. They relied on God to get them through and had their hope in Jesus. Nothing that they went through was too much, because it was all for the glory of the Lord. It was all to give testimony to the work that God was doing.

So, I go back to the earlier questions:

What does it mean to suffer for the gospel? From what I have read and heard, it means hardship. It means putting me out there for Jesus. It means struggling…literally.

Is this suffering the same for everyone? Absolutely not. However, we can share our sufferings in that they are for Jesus. We can listen, learn, console, and encourage one another in our sufferings.

Am I suffering for the gospel? I would have to say that I’m not sure. Sometimes I’m just sure I am. But, my life is not a life of hardship or suffering. Today, I feel as though I am just because of the wrestling in my heart to learn what it means to suffer.

What do I need to do to suffer for the gospel? I need to live beyond myself. I need to step out in faith MORE! I need to put myself in uncomfortable places and circumstances. I need to stand up for Jesus more than I do. I need to rely on God and the truth that HE has his best for me.

1 comment:

Kristi said...

this made me think....most of us are just so afraid of being uncomfortable in a situation---stepping out and being different from the world. I know I hold back when I should stand up for Christ. Thank you for the thought-provoking post:)