May 12

Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church. Colossians 1:24

All Christians should know they won’t be spared from suffering.  But it should be the kind of suffering that is worthy of its name.  It should really hurt us and weigh us down, such as a serious threat to our possessions, bodies, or lives.  We should really fee it, for it wouldn’t be suffering it if didn’t hurt.  Moreover, we shouldn’t choose our own suffering, as some people do.  It should be the kind of suffering the devil or the world sends our way.  We would want to be spared of it, if at all possible.  Then we need to hold on tight and reconcile ourselves to this suffering.  As I have said before we have to suffer so that we will become more and more like Christ.  It cannot be any different.  Everyone will face Christ’s cross and suffering.

If you know this, then the suffering is easier and more bearable for you.  You can comfort yourself by saying, “Well now, if I want to be a Christian, I must wear the colors of the team.  Our dear Christ doesn’t give out any other clothing for his side.  I must endure this suffering.”

People who insist on choosing their own cross cannot do this.  They become upset and fight against it.  What commendable behavior that is!  Yet they criticize the way we teach about suffering as if they were the only ones who could teach how to handle it.  Nevertheless, we still teach that none of us should choose our own suffering.  But when the cross comes, we should patiently endure it and carry it.

Martin Luther: Bondage of the Will

The Bondage of the Will, Luther’s exposition on the doctrine of God’s sovereignty, laid the groundwork for Reformation thought. It shows us a humbling view of ourselves while strengthening our faith in Christ.

The Ambassador Classics series brings the greatest classic works of Christian history into a single set. It includes unabridged works by Martin Luther, John Bunyan, John Calvin, A. T. Pierson, John Owens, C. H. Spurgeon, Jonathan Edwards, J. C. Ryle, R. A. Torrey and many others. This series will continue to enrich and deepen your faith in Christ.

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