A Distinction to Be Noticed

Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin – 1 Peter 4:1

Our sufferings are said to be the sufferings of Christ. Now, suffering in itself is not an evidence of Christianity. There are many people who have trials and troubles who are not children of’ God. I have heard some poor whining people come and say, “I know I am a child of God because I am in debt, because I am in poverty, because I am in trouble.” Do you indeed? I know a great many rascals in the same condition; and I don’t believe you are a child of God any the more because you happen to be in poor circumstances. There are abundance who are in trouble and distress besides God’s children. It is not the peculiar lot of God’s family; and if I had no other ground of my hope as a Christian, except my experience of trials, I should have but very poor ground indeed. But there is a distinction to be noticed. Are these sufferings the sufferings of Christ, or are they not? A man is dishonest, and is put in jail for it; a man is a coward and men hiss at him for it; a man is insincere, and, therefore, persons avoid him. Yet he says he is persecuted. Persecuted! Not at all; it serves him right. He deserves it. But such persons will comfort themselves with the thought, that they are “the dear people of God,” because other people avoid them; when it so happens that they just deserve it. They do not live as they ought to do; therefore the world’s punishment is their desert. Take heed, beloved, that your sufferings are true sufferings of Christ; be sure they are not your own sufferings; for if they are, you will get no relief. It is only when they are the sufferings of Jesus that we may take comfort. ~ C.H. Spurgeon





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