Suffering for Jesus Sake? Really?

6/12/2014: Suffering for Jesus sake is a common expression and or explanation for various afflictions among Christians. The contemporary view of sufferings erroneously includes various diseases and injuries. This is not the Biblical definition of sufferings. Some of the scriptural passages on sufferings are as follows:

Psalms 34:19 is translated in the Amplified Bible as “Many evils confront the consistently righteous;”

2Col 1:7 says we should be partakers of the sufferings of Christ.

Phil 3: 10 states that we should know the fellowship of His sufferings.

Heb 2: 10 states that the captain of their salvation is made perfect through sufferings.

1 Peter 4:13 states we are partakers in Christ’s sufferings.

Here is my take on suffering for Christ’s sake. It is my understanding that Christ suffered for our sake, not the other way around. Christ’s sufferings were not disease or injury, but rejection and crucifixion that in His body He provided the prophylaxis for disease and injury as well as the healing should they occur.

The Christian’s sufferings are the pain of death of self, our ideas and ambitions. Further we may suffer rejection, trials, adversities, persecution, and discrimination. Some few may be martyred for their Christian beliefs, but not many statistically. Even the martyred did not die in the place of another.

The Christian’s sufferings may be in one of two categories. We must ask the following questions and apply the appropriate remedy.

Am I suffering for righteousness sake with rejection, trials, adversity, persecution, discrimination? If so, then I am to rejoice and be exceedingly glad. (Matt 5:11-12)

Am I suffering for unrighteousness sake (a.k.a. sin)? If so, then I am to repent.

It is a simple diagnostic choice; righteousness or unrighteousness.

However there is a caveat. We live in a corruptible body and it is subject to disease by genetic code or exposure. This corruptible body is subject to deterioration with aging. Neither should be considered suffering for Jesus. In both cases we should seek the healing provided in Christ Jesus.