2 Corinthians 4:7  But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.
2 Corinthians 12:9  If I must boast, I will boast in the things which concern my infirmity.

  • How do we show that our triumph over suffering is by the power of God and not by our own power?

Colossians 1:24  I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ, for the sake of His body, which is the church.

  • Do we, like Paul, fill up what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ?

1 Corinthians 9:12  Nevertheless, we have not used this right, but endure all things lest we hinder the gospel of Christ.

  • Do we, like Paul, suffer intentionally lest we hinder the good news?

Philippians 1:29  For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake.
2 Thessalonians 1:4 – 5  We ourselves boast of you among the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that you endure, which is manifest evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you also suffer.

  • Do we, like the Philippians and Thessalonians, suffer for Jesus’ sake?

Philippians 3:8 – 10  Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death.
1 Peter 2:21  For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps.

  • What does it mean to have the fellowship of His suffering?

James 1:2 – 4  My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.  But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
James 5:10  My brethren, take the prophets, who spoke in the name of the Lord, as an example of suffering and patience.
1 Peter 5:10  But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.
2 Corinthians 4:17  For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.
Romans 8:18  For I consider the sufferings of the present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed to us.
1 Peter 3:14  But even if you should suffer for righteousness sake, you are blessed.
2 Timothy 2:12  If we endure, we shall also reign with Him.

  • What are some of the positive results of suffering?

1 Peter 4:12  Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s suffering, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.

  • How do we turn suffering into joy?

Philippians 4:12  I know how to be abased and I know how to abound.  Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.
2 Timothy 1:8  Therefore, do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His  prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God.

  • What does this statement teach us about a godly perspective on suffering?

2 Timothy 3:12  Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.

  • Do we?  What does it mean if we are not?