(It is plain to see that suffering for the sake of the Gospel has nothing to do with sickness)
John 16:33 I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have trouble and suffering, but take courage - I have conquered the world.
Romans 5:3- Not only this, but we also rejoice in sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance, character, and character, hope. And hope does not dissapoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
Romans 8:18 - For I consider that our present sufferings cannot even be compared to the glory that will be revealed to us.
Romans 12:12- Rejoice in hope, endure in suffering, persist in prayer.
2Corinthians1:5- For just as the sufferings of Christ overflow towards us, so also our comfort and salvation; If we are comforted, it is for your comfort that you experience in your patient endurance of the same sufferings that we also suffer. And our hope is steadfast because we know that as you share in our sufferings, so also you will share in our comfort. For we do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, regarding the affliction that happened to us in the province of Asia, that we were burdened excessively, beyond our own strength, so that we despaired even of living. Indeed we felt as if the sentence of death had been passed against us so that we would not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead. He delivered us from so great a risk of death, and He will deliver us. We have set our hope on Him that He will deliver us yet again, as you also join in helping us by prayer, so that many people may give thanks to God on our behalf for the gracious gift given to us through the help of many.
2Corinthians4:17- For our momentary light suffering is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison because we are not looking at what can be seen but what cannot be seen. For what can be seen in temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal.
2Corinthians6:4- But as God’s servants, we have commended ourselves in every way, with great endurance, in persecutions, in difficulties, in distresses, in beatings, in imprisonments, in riots, in troubles, in sleepless nights, in hunger, by purity, by knowledge, by patience, by benevolence, by the Holy Spirit, by genuine love, by truthful teaching, by the power of God, with weapons of righteousness both for the right hand and for the left, through glory and dishonor, through slander and praise, regarded as impostors and yet true; as unknown and yet well known, as dying and yet see! we continue to live, as those scourged and yet not executed, as sorrowful, but always rejoicing, as poor, yet making many rich, as having nothing, yet possessing everything.
2Corinthians11:23 ....with far more imprisonments, more severe beatings, facing death many times, fives I received from the Jews forty lashes less one, three times I was beating with a rod. Once I received a stoning. Three times I suffered shipwreck. A night and a day I spent adrift in the open sea. I have been on journeys many times, in dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, in dangers from my own countrymen, in dangers from Gentiles, in dangers in the city, in dangers in the wilderness, in dangers at sea, in dangers from false brothers, in hard work and toil, through many sleepless nights, in hunger and thirst, many times without food, in cold and hot without enough clothing. Apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxious concern for all the churches.
2Corinthians8:1- Now we make known to you, brothers and sisters, the grace of God given to the churches of Macedonia, that during a severe ordeal of suffering, their abundant joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in the wealth of their generosity.
2 Corinthians12:1- It is necessary to go on boasting. Though it is not profitable, I will go on to visions and revelations from the Lord. I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago (whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows) was caught up to the third heaven. And I know that this man (whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, God knows) was caught up into paradise and heard things too sacred to be put into words, things that a person is not permitted to speak. On behalf of such an individual I will boast, but on my own behalf I will not boast, except about my weaknesses. For even if I wish to boast, I will not be a fool, for I would be telling the truth, but I refrain from this so that no one may regard me beyond what he sees in my or what he hears from me, even because of the extraordinary character of the revelations. Therefore, so that I would not become arrogant, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of satan to trouble me so that I would not become arrogant. I asked the Lord three times about this, that it would depart from me. But He said to me, “My grace is enough for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness, so that the power of Christ may reside in me.” Therefore I am content with weakness, with insults, with troubles, with persecutions and difficulties for the sake of Christ, for whenever I am weak, then I am strong.
Phillipians 3:10 My aim is to know Him, to experience the power of His resurrection, to share in in His sufferings, and to be like Him in death, and so, somehow attain to the resurrection from the dead.
Colossians 1:24 Now I rejoice in my sufferings for you, and I fill up in my physical body - for the sake of His body, the church - what is lacking in the sufferings of Christ.
1Thessalonians1:5 This is evidence of God’s righteous judgement, to make you worthy of the Kingdom of God, for which in fact you are suffering.
2Timothy1:8 So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me, a prisoner for His sake, but by God’s power accept your share of suffering for the Gospel.
2Timothy1:11-12 For this Gospel I was appointed a preacher and apostle and teacher. Because of this fact, I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, because I know the One in whom my faith is set and I am convinced that He is able to protect what has been entrusted to me until that day.
2Timothy2:3 Take your share of suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.
2Timothy2:8-12 Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, a descendant of David; such is my gospel, for which I suffer hardship to the point of imprisonment as a criminal, but God’s message is not imprisoned! So I endure all things for the sake of those chosen by God that they too may obtain salvation in Christ Jesus and its eternal glory. This saying is trustworthy: if we died with Him, we will also live with Him. If we endure, we will also reign with Him. If we deny Him, He will also deny us.
2Timothy3:10- You, however, have followed my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, my faith, my patience, my love, my endurance, as well as the persecutions and sufferings that happened to me in Antioch, in Iconium, and in Lystra. I endured these persecutions and the Lord delivered me from them all. Know in fact all who want to live godly lives in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.
Hebrews10:32- But remember the former days when you endured a harsh conflict of suffering after you were enlightened. At times you were publicly exposed to abuse and afflictions and at other times you came to share with others who were treated in that way. For in fact you shared the sufferings of those in prison and you accepted the confiscation of your belongings with joy, because you knew that you certainly had a better and lasting possession. So do not throw away your confidence, because it has great reward. For you need endurance in order to do God’s will and so receive what is promised. For just a little longer and He who is coming will arrive and not delay. But My Righteous One will live by faith, and if he shrinks back, I take no pleasure in him. But we are not among those who shrink back and thus perish, but are among those who have faith and preserve their souls.
Hebrews 12:6- For the Lord disciplines the one He loves and chastises every son He accepts. Endure your suffering as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is there that a father does not discipline? But if you do not experience discipline, something all sons have shared in, then you are illegitimate and are not sons. Besides we have experienced discipline from our earthly fathers and we respected them; shall we not submit ourselves all the more to the Father of spirits and receive life? For they disciplined us for a little while as seemed good to them, but He does so for our benefit, that we may share His holiness. Now all discipline seems painful at the time, not joyful. But later it produces the fruit of peace and righteousness for those trained by it. Therefore strengthen your listless hands and your weak knees and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but be healed.
James 5:10- As an example of suffering and patience, brothers and sisters, take the prophets who spoke in the Lord’s name. Think how we regard as blessed those who have endured. You have heard of Job’s endurance and you have seen the Lord’s purpose, that the Lord is full of compassion and mercy. And above all, my brothers and sisters, do not swear, either by heaven or earth or by any other oath, but let your yes be yes and your no be no, so that you may not fall into judgement. Is anyone among your suffering? He should pray. Is anyone in good spirits? He should sing praises. Is anyone among you ill? He should summon the elders of the church and they should pray for him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick and the Lord will raise him up and if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.
1Peter2:19-21For this finds God’s favor, if because of conscience towards God, someone endures hardships in suffering unjustly. For what credit is it if you sin and are mistreated and endure it? But if you do good and so endure, this finds favor with God. For this you were called, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving an example for you to follow in His steps.
1Peter3:13- For who is going to harm you if you are devoted to what is good? But in fact if you happen to suffer for doing what is right, you are blessed. But do not be terrified of them or be shaken. But set Christ apart as Lord in your hearts and always be ready to give an answer to anyone who asks about the hope you possess. Yet do it with courtesy and respect, keeping a good conscience, so that those who slander your good conduct in Christ may be put to shame when they accuse you. For it is better to suffer for doing good, if God wills it, than for doing evil. Because Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust to bring you to God, by being put to death in the flesh but by being made alive in the spirit. In it He went and preached to the spirits in prison, after they were disobedient long ago when God patiently waited in the days of Noah as an ark was being constructed.
1Peter4:1- So, since Christ suffered in the flesh, you also arm yourselves with the same attitude, because the one who has suffered in the flesh has finished with sin in that he spends the rest of his time on earth concerned about the will of God and not human desires.
1Peter4:12- Dear friends do not be astonished that trial by fire is occurring among you as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice in the degree that you have shared in the sufferings of Christ, so that when His glory is revealed you may also rejoice and be glad. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of Glory Who is the Spirit of God, rests on you. But let none of you suffer as a murderer or thief or criminal or as a troublemaker. But if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, glorify God that you bear such a name. For it is time for judgement to begin, starting with the house of God. And if it starts with us, what will be the fate of those who are disobedient to the Gospel of God? And if the righteous are barely saved, what will become of the ungodly sinners? So then let those who suffer according to the will of God entrust their souls to a faithful creator as they do good.
1Peter5:1- So as your fellow elder and a witness of Christ’s sufferings and as one who shares in the glory that will be revealed, I urge the elders among you: Give a shepherds’s care to God’s flock among you, exercising oversight not merely as a duty but willingly under God’s direction, not for shameful profit, but eagerly. And do not lord it over those entrusted to you, but be examples to the flock. Then when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that never fades away. In the same way you who are younger, be subject to the elders. And all of you, clothe yourselves with humility towards one another, because God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. And God will exalt you in due time, if you humble yourselves under His mighty hand by casting all your cares on Him because He cares for you. Be sober and alert. Your enemy the devil, like a roaring lion, is on the prowl looking for someone to devour. Resist him, strong in faith, because you know that your brothers and sisters throughout the world are enduring the same kinds of suffering. And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace who called you to His eternal glory in Christ will himself restore, confirm, strengthen and establish you. To Him belongs the power forever. Amen.
Revelation2:9- I know the distress you are suffering and your poverty (but you are rich). I also know the slander against you by those who call themselves Jews and really are not, but are a synagogue of satan. Do not be afraid of the things you are about to suffer. The devil is about to have some of you thrown into prison so you may be tested, and you will experience suffering for ten days. Remain faithful even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown that is life itself. The one who has an ear had better hear what the Spirit says to the churches. The one who conquers will in no way be harmed by the second death.
Revelation 2:18- To the angel of the church in Thyatira write the following: This is the solemn pronouncement of the Son of God, the one who has eyes like a fiery flame and whose feet are like polished bronze: I know your deeds: your love, faith, service, and steadfast endurance. In fact, your more recents deeds are greater than your earlier ones. But I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, and by her teaching deceives my servants to commit sexual immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols. I have given her time to repent, but she is not willing to repent of her sexual immorality. Look I am throwing her onto a bed of violent illness, and those who commit adultery with her into terrible suffering, unless they repent of her deeds. Further more I will strike her followers with a deadly disease, and then all the churches will know that I am the one who searches the minds and hearts. I will repay each one of you what your deeds deserve.