12 Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. James 1:12 (NASB)
I grew up as a Southern Baptist. I have heard a lot of very good preaching in my 68+ years. However, I have also heard a lot of what I would call now-a-days, humanistic preaching. Until just a few years ago I really didn’t know the difference, or if I did, then it was that the former was grounded deeper into the Word of God than the latter….
The biblically based preaching was always geared toward the eternal even if talking about the temporal. The humanistic preaching was always geared to the temporal even when talking about the eternal. Do you see the difference?
If we have a temporal focus, suffering of any type for any reason is regarded as tragic and something God would and should prevent. The fact a person is sick or is persecuted are events that prove that someone has sinned or does not have enough faith or isn’t praying enough, etc. How should Christians regard suffering by believers?
13 Who is there to harm you if you prove zealous for what is good? 14 But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. And do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled, 15 but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence; 16 and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame. 17 For it is better, if God should will it so, that you suffer for doing what is right rather than for doing what is wrong. 1 Peter 3:13-17 (NASB)