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The Secret of Suffering

“For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day” (2 Timothy 1:11,12).

Paul was in prison and what was his crime? Simply that he had preached the wonderful tidings of God's free offer of life and immortality through Christ. But instead of responding with joy, the world heaped shame and suffering and imprisonment upon the apostle and later killed him.

Dear fellow believer, let us not be deceived about the world. Its true character of enmity to God is clearly seen in its treatment of the apostle. It prefers its path of sin and Satan's power before God's glorious gospel. If the awful persecution of Christians that is going on in some parts of the world today has not spread worldwide, it is because God in His sovereign goodness is holding Satan's power in check.

Have you learned the secret of suffering as Paul did? By faith, he looked forward with confidence. He committed everything into the Lord's hands, and was not ashamed to suffer because he knew what the final outcome would be. It was not a doctrine that Paul had but a person. “I know whom I have believed”—the Person. Do you know Him? True Christianity is not a system of doctrines as other religions, but it is an intimate acquaintance with a Person—and what a glorious Person—One higher than all, who yet gave Himself for us. To know Him, and to commit all into His hands, is the secret of a happy life, however much one may suffer in outward circumstances or be mistreated by a world that hates Christ.

—Condensed from Readings & Meditations on Second Timothy by E.C. Hadley.