Posted by: fatherof11 | July 24, 2007

Suffering for the Elect

When you adopt a child at an older age, you may be the first person to ever bring discipline and authority into their lives in any meaningful way. You become to them the embodiment of the Law. It is not surprising then when they act according to their nature. They may be rude, rebellious or even call down curses upon you as one of my daughters did. Over time they can bring a great deal of suffering into your family. However, this is not surprising as Paul tells us in
2Ti 3:12-13 ‘Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.”

The shock comes to us as adoptive parents when we realize the source of this persecution comes from our own child. But before we run away, or try to rid ourselves of this difficult child we need to understand the roll of suffering in the life of the Christian. One reason that Christians suffer is for the sake of the gospel and those that will be saved. Again the apostle Paul says:

2Ti 2:8-10 Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, the offspring of David, as preached in my gospel, for which I am suffering, bound with chains as a criminal. But the word of God is not bound! Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. (ESV)

Here the Apostle Paul gives us a reason for his suffering, that the elect may obtain the salvation that is in Jesus Christ. We as parents should likewise be willing to suffer in order that our children might come to salvation.

In my own life, I have seen this worked out. One of my daughters came to us from a disruption. When she came into our house, she was bitter and angry. In addition, she had very little experience with authority or discipline. On more than one occasion, she litterally called on God to curse me. To this day, I still have scars on my arm from one episode with her.

However, today she is not only my daughter, but my sister in Christ. In the day I saw he heart turn to Christ, I truly understood:

Act 5:40-41 and when they had called in the apostles, they beat them and charged them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. Then they left the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name.

Oh, that God, who is rich in mercies, might grant us the will to suffer for the sake of the gospel, whether in the world or in our own homes.

I hope to give some practical help for dealing with suffering in future posts.

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