Silent in Suffering

It is not easy to suffer. No affliction is pleasant. But there is something especially difficult about suffering at the hands or by the words of others. Our first inclination is to defend ourselves. And, certainly, there is a place for that. There were times when the Apostle Paul offered a hearty defense of himself against his accusers. He did this when the accusations against him would harm the church. For instance, when the "super apostles" were troubling the Corinthian church with their version of the prosperity gospel part of their strategy was to discredit Paul and his preaching of the cross. For their authority to be established, they first had to demolish Paul's. So in order to protect the church from error and destruction Paul had to defend his status as a true apostle of the Lord Jesus. He had to deny the lies that he was preaching to enrich himself. He had to deny the accusations that he was hiding a secret life of shame.

However, there are times when we simply must be silent in the face of slander. I'm not sure where to draw the line. But Jason Helopoulos offers some wise counsel. In suffering silently, Helopoulos writes, "I have the opportunity to":

  • look to Christ who suffered silently (Isaiah 53:7)
  • become more like Christ as I endure suffering (1 Peter 2:21)
  • and privilege of suffering with Christ (1 Peter 4:13)
  • complete what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions (Colossians 1:24)
  • to be tested by fire, so the genuineness of my faith will shine to the glory and honor of Christ
  •      (1  Peter 1:7)
  • remind myself that the Great Judge knows what is true (Matthew 12:36)
  • suffer with Him—knowing that as I do, I shall be glorified with Him (Romans 8:17)
  • suffer as it is a gracious thing in the sight of God (1 Peter 2:20)
  • suffer as it is a blessing and a sign that the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon me (1 Peter 4:14)
  • be reminded that my current suffering is nothing compared to the glory that awaits (1 Peter 5:10)
  • truly love my enemies (Matthew 5:44)
  • know more fully the extent of Christ’s love towards me (Ephesians 3:14ff)
  • learn afresh how dependent I am upon Christ (John 15:5)
  • be identified with Christ (John 15:18ff)
  • test my desire for God’s glory rather than man’s approval (Isaiah 51:7-8)

  • Fear of man must not silence you when you should speak. But neither should it lead you to speak when you should not. And suffering for the sake of Christ often means remaining silent in the midst of that suffering. It is hard and bitter. But as our minds are gripped by these truths, that which is hard and bitter can at the same time be sweet and easy to digest.
    Read the whole post HERE.