onsdag 1. februar 2017

Join in suffering!

In Christian faith there are many mysteries, and suffering is one of them. Although Pa­ul, through his ministry saw many people healed from diseases and different kinds of suffering, he was very clear that he did not consider the life of a disciple to be a life without suffering. He had experienced a lot of suffering, persecution and torture, but also physical suffering caused by disease (1)

In his letters to Timothy, Paul touched this theme several times, even as an encouragement to join in suffering as a part of the mission:
“join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God.” 2 Timothy 1:8b
The big difference between suffering in general and the suffering Paul wrote about, is that it is linked to the gospel, and the gospel is linked with power. After his salvation, Paul never doubted the power of the Gospel (2). Facing suffering, or the "thorn in the flesh", which is probably a reference to all the persecution he endured, he experienced that "power is made perfect in weakness" (3).

Many people have made the same experience. They are never stronger than when they are weak. I have also been there. It's a strange place to be, but God is there.

'Manna' for today:
I am strong when I am weak.
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(1) Gal 4:13-14
(2) Rom 1:16
(3) 2 Cor 12:9

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