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Suffer Gladly

One of the most consistent themes of Scripture is the reality of suffering in the Christian life. I find this ironic in the fitness community because this is a reality for an athlete in day-to-day training. Suffering produces results. We know this to be true about training. We can't look at the top athlete in any sport and not immediately see the presence of suffering in their day-to-day training. Sure, genetics and talent play a part in their success as an athlete, but nothing comes without work. That work brings about the kind of suffering that creates adaptation in your muscles and in your body's physiological systems.
The same is true for our growth towards the Lord. The Bible consistently reminds believers from Genesis to Revelation that Christians who are truly living out their faith will encounter suffering on a regular basis. Read Romans 5:3–5, or Psalm 34:19, or Matthew 5:10. God promises suffering in this life. What we have to wrap our heads around as Christians is how we embrace or run from the suffering.
I find it immensely ironic that most athletes will run to suffering knowing that the results produce a desired effect in their performance. Yet, in our Christian lives we will run from anything that causes suffering or compartmentalize God to a place where we avoid suffering altogether not realizing we are missing out on the resulting effect on our holiness and our faith. Suffering isn't something anybody wants to create for ourselves. Nobody walks into the gym saying they're looking forward to the wear and tear on their muscles, the pain of training, or the soreness that comes the next day. However we are excited about the result. The same should be said about our lives with Christ. Creating suffering is not our calling but enduring suffering with gladness and rejoicing is. For a little deeper look into this idea take a look at John Piper's blog from yesterday here.

5 Responses to Suffer Gladly

  1. Mario Herrera
    Mario Herrera July 31, 2015 at 7:55 pm #

    I came to that realization with Crossfit. The work it takes to stay healthy and fit, the pain! It has lead me to examine how much effort I put forth in the calling of the Lord Jesus! I have so much work to do! Thankful for his grace! Thankful for the person and work of Christ!

  2. Brian Magee
    Brian Magee July 31, 2015 at 8:33 pm #

    Shawn Butler is that a Fivestar shirt??!

  3. Madeleine Schlenz
    Madeleine Schlenz August 1, 2015 at 11:24 am #

    Gary L Carpenter!!!!

  4. Kara Foster
    Kara Foster August 1, 2015 at 12:23 pm #

    Frank Douglas – “Creating suffering is not our calling but enduring suffering with gladness and rejoicing is.” Coincidence.

  5. Gary L Carpenter
    Gary L Carpenter August 1, 2015 at 5:23 pm #

    It is a Fivestar shirt from one of his visits to Outlaw.