Suffering: a Biblical Perspective
"A disciple is not above his teacher...if they persecuted me, they will persecute you...if they have called the head of the house Beelzebub, what will they call the members of his house?" Since Genesis 3, all human beings have suffered, but disciples of Jesus, especially those who seek to glorify Him as missionaries, inevitably enter into His peculiar sufferings: loneliness, alienation, rejection, humiliation, and physical pain. Some disciples will pay the ultimate price of martyrdom.
We don't pursue suffering for its own sake, but obedient disciples can't avoid hardships. We need a biblical theology of suffering that protects us from despair--and allows us to benefit from suffering's redemptive and maturing power.