this world, and we must enter into the kingdom of heaven through much tribulation and anguish.This truth is well expressed in the following words of St. Augustine: "Marvel not, brother, if after becoming a Christian you are assailed by many troubles. For Christ is our Head, and, as Hismembers, we must follow and imitate, not only Him, but His life and sufferings. The life of Christ was closely beset with all manner of tribulations, poverty, insult, mockery, scorn, sorrow,and acute bodily suffering; and it is clear that if you would obtain the life of Christ, you must,like Him, become perfect through suffering. For without these afflictions and tribulations wecannot come to God. A man who would enter Paradise must go through fire and water, whetherhe be Peter, to whom the keys of heaven were entrusted, or Paul, a chosen vessel of God, orJohn, to whom all the secrets of God were revealed. Every brother must enter the kingdom of heaven through much tribulation...Let not the blasphemies and reckless judgment of the wickedworld trouble the true Christian, against whom they are directed: for the Devil and his servantshave at all times done to the followers of Christ what they did to Christ Himself.
The Waterstoneof the Wise Part IV
Suffering is a test of the genuineness of our faith:
In this you rejoice, though now for a little while you may have to suffer various trials, so thatthe genuineness of your faith, more precious than gold which though perishable is tested by fire,may redound to praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Without havingseen him, you love him; though you do not see him you believe in him and rejoice withunutterable and exalted joy. As the outcome of your faith you obtain the salvation of yoursouls.
Blessed is the man who endures trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life (he will receive eternal life) which God has promised to those who love him.
Our suffering reveals the genuineness of our faith (See 1Peter 1:6-7). Though we mustsuffer, we will be rewarded:
“When we cry, “Abba! Father!” it is the (Holy) Spirit himself bearing witness with our spirit that
we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and fellow heirs with (Jesus)Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified (receive eternal life)with him.
Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against youfalsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for men sopersecuted the prophets who
were before you.”
“…after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal
glory in (Jesus) Christ, will himself restore, establish and strengthen you.
James 5:13 tells us when you are suffering you should pray. See also Psalms 66:8-12,Psalms 71:20-21 and Psalms 73:13-14 concerning suffering.Suffering is not without its rewards. Your future reward is partially determined by theextent of your suffering in this life (See Psalms 90:15). Jesus suffered greatly and great is his