The best prayers have often more groans than words.
If the first mark of a true and living church is love, the second is suffering. The one is naturally consequent on the other. A willingness to suffer proves the genuineness of love.What Christ Thinks of the Church: An Exposition of Revelation 1 - 3 (Grand Rapids, Baker: 2003) 35
The losses and deprivations that constitute the worst miseries of life are not primarily financial. They are those that take loved ones from us or otherwise damage our physical and mental well being.
We do not choose suffering simply because we are told to, but because the one who tells us to describes it as the path to everlasting joy.
The cross is not primarily a burden (although it is that indeed); it is first of all an instrument of death. Jesus demands of those who follow Him that they must lay their lives on the line; they must be ready to suffer as Jesus suffered. They must be willing to literally lose their lives.The Last Things (Grand Rapids, Eerdmans: 1978) 64
When the devil and the world combine to persecute a Christly soul, they put him on the throne of power.
Only if we trust God to turn past calamities into future comfort can we look with gratitude for all things.Future Grace (Multnomah: 2005) 49
My dear brother, let God make of you what He will, He will end all with consolation, and shall make glory out of your suffering.
Comfort and prosperity have never enriched the world as much as adversity has.
Suffering passes, but the fact of having suffered never leaves us.
Joy in affliction is rooted in the hope of resurrection, but our experience of suffering also deepens the root of that hope.
...Sufferings must be the Churches most ordinary lot, and Christians indeed must be self-denying Cross-bearers, even where there are none but formal nominal Christians to be the Cross-makers...
Christ was willing to suffer and be despised, and darest thou complain of anything?
Where are the marks of the cross in your life? Are there any points of identification with your Lord? Alas, too many Christians wear medals but carry no scars.
The Christians are unhappy men who are persuaded that they will survive death and live forever; in consequence, they despise death and are willing to sacrifice their lives to their faith.
Christianity is a battle - not a dream.
It requires more courage to suffer than to die.
I do not believe that sheer suffering teaches. If suffering alone taught, all the world would be wise, since everyone suffers. To suffering must be added mourning, understanding, patience, love, openness, and the willingness to remain vulnerable.
This is God's universal purpose for all Christian suffering: more contentment in God and less satisfaction in the world.
Truly it is a misery even to live upon the earth. The more spiritual a man desires to be, the more bitter does his present life become to him; because he sees more clearly and perceives more sensibly the defects of human corruption.
Paul's sufferings complete Christ's afflictions not by adding anything to their worth, but by extending them to the people they were meant to save.
God knows our situation; He will not judge us as if we had no difficulties to overcome. What matters is the sincerity and perseverance of our will to overcome them.
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