The Cost of Following Pt. 3: The Joy of Suffering

What are you willing to pay for your Christianity? What a hard and even odd question to ponder in the free world. We can’t imagine what it’s like to actually suffer for the name of Jesus. In fact, we even get offended by the mere suggestion that God would allow us to suffer for His name. But, in the underground Church, they rejoice in persecution. Why? What’s the difference between the underground Church under heavy persecution and us here in the free world? Join Reverend Kenny Yates in his sobering message, The Cost of Following Pt. 3: The Joy of Suffering.

Hebrews 12:1-4
John 1:1-5
Matthew 13:20-21
Romans 10:17-18
Matthew 24:13

The Joy of Suffering

Rejoicing in Persecution Bible Verses

38 So in the present case I tell you, keep away from these men and let them alone, for if this plan or this undertaking is of man, it will fail; 39 but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them. You might even be found opposing God!” So they took his advice, 40 and when they had called in the apostles, they beat them and charged them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. 41 Then they left the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name. 42 And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they did not cease teaching and preaching that the Christ is Jesus.

Acts 5:38-42

Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— 10 that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.

Philippians 3:8-11

The early Church, as does the persecuted Church overseas, counts it a joy to suffer for the name of Christ Jesus. They rejoice in their persecutions. They rejoice, not because they’re masochists, but because they have been found worthy to suffer for the name of Christ. The persecuted church rejoices because they have been found worthy, and therefore they rejoice in persecution.

Why Should You Rejoice In Persecution?

11 Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Matthew 5:11-12

12 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. 14 If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. 15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler. 16 Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name.

1 Peter 4:12-16

24 By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, 25 choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. 26 He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward. 27 By faith he left Egypt, not being afraid of the anger of the king, for he endured as seeing him who is invisible.

Hebrews 11:24-27

It’s not easy to find joy while suffering while being persecuted and tortured, but when we focus on the eternal reward waiting for us, we can retain the Joy of the LORD. For the Joy of the LORD is our strength. The joy that tells us that the night won’t last forever or that this persecution will only be for a little. This is what the persecuted church holds on to so tightly during their trials and tribulations, the Joy of the LORD.

Right now, the persecuted church has withstood much pain and suffering all for the name of Christ Jesus because they hold on to the Joy of the LORD. This is what we have to do in the free world, hold to the Joy of the LORD so that when it’s our time to face persecution, we will be able to stand strong in Christ Jesus.

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