Glad to Suffer
Colossians 1:24–26 (ESV)
24Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church,
25of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known,
26the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints.
1. Suffering that helps other believers.
· Give some examples from Paul’s life that prove he was glad to suffer as long as it helped other believers move toward Christlikeness.
· Give some examples from your own life that prove that you are glad to suffer as long as it helps other believers move toward Christlikeness.
· Do you think it is important to distinguish suffering due to illness, bad choices, etc. from suffering for Christ’s sake?
2. Suffering that glorifies Christ.
· What difference does it make to you to know that if you suffer well for Christ you will also know Christ better?
· Discuss as a group the challenges for contemporary Christians in our culture in learning how to say “I rejoice in my sufferings… because I have the privilege of filling up what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ.”
· Does it help you to know that they way you respond to suffering reveals what you believe to be true about Jesus?
· Does it help you to know that those who persecute Jesus/believers will one day face God’s justice?
3. Suffering that advances the knowledge of the Word
· How passionate are you about advancing the knowledge of God’s Word?
· What particular “stewardship” has God given you in his universal plan to advance the knowledge of the word of God?
· Advancing the knowledge of God’s Word demands at least 3 things: you, another person, and the Word.
o With whom are you engaging the Scriptures at this point in your attempt to advance the knowledge of God’s Word?
o Name one or two other people that you could reach out to you and offer to have a Bible study with.