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hat about those Christians who have to live with their problems throughout their entire lives? Let them take consolation in the example of Our Lord, "Who for the joy that was set before Him endured the Cross-, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God" (Heb 12:2).
Peter wrote in the same tone "But rejoice, in as much as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that when His glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. (You will have the wonderful joy of sharing his glory in that coming day when it will be displayed)" (1 Peter 4:13).
Paul added, "Though our bodies are dying, our inner strength in the Lord is growing everyday. These troubles and sufferings of ours are after all, quite small and won't last very long. Yes, this short time of distress will result in God's richest blessings upon us forever and ever! So we do not look at what we can see right now, the troubles all around us, but we look forward to the joys in heaven which we have not yet seen. The troubles will soon be over, but the joys to come will last forever" (2 Cor. 4:16-18).
Paul's counsels are very encouraging. Quoting the Psalmist (Psalm 69:9) he wrote: "Christ didn't please Himself. He came for the very purpose of suffering under the insults of those who were against the Lord. These things that were written in the Scriptures so long ago are to teach us patience and to encourage us, so that we will look forward expectantly to the time when God will conquer sin and death" (Rom 15:3-4 LB).
To the Corinthians he wrote "Now we look forward with confidence to our heavenly bodies, realizing that every moment we spend in these earthly bodies is time spent away from our eternal home in heaven with Jesus" (2 Cor. 5:6).
To Timothy, he wrote "I am comforted by this truth, that when we suffer and die for Christ, it only means that we will begin living with Him in heaven. And if we think that our present service for Him is hard, just remember that someday we are going to sit with Him and rule with Him. But if we give up when we suffer and turn against Christ, then He must turn against us. Even when we are too weak to have any faith left, He remains faithful to us and will help us, for he cannot disown us who are part of Himself and He will always carry out His promises to us.(2Tim.2:11-13)
To be continued