Therefore, I bind these lies and slanderous accusations to my person as an ornament; it belongs to my Christian profession to be vilified, slandered, reproached and reviled, and since all this is nothing but that, as God and my conscience testify, I rejoice in being reproached for Christ’s sake.
The Gospel gets really more advantage by the holy, humble sufferings of one saint, simply for the Word of righteousness, than by ten thousand arguments used against heretics and false worship.
[We are] not to suffer for doing wrong, but only for doing right, like Christ Himself did. What could it mean for…us to think that we are following Christ, and refuse to go with Him to suffering, and even to the cross?
I have now to ask whether you can consent to part with your daughter early next spring, to see her no more in this world; whether you can consent to her departure to a heathen land, and her subjection to the hardships and sufferings of a missionary life; whether you can consent to her exposure to the dangers of the ocean, to the fatal influence of the southern climate of India, to every kind of want and distress, to degradation, insult, persecution, and perhaps a violent death. Can you consent to all this, for the sake of Him who left His heavenly home and died for her and for you, for the sake of perishing, immortal souls, for the sake of Zion and the glory of God? Can you consent to all this, in hope of soon meeting your daughter in the world of glory, with a crown of righteousness brightened by the acclamations of praise which shall redound to her Savior from heathens saved, through her means, from eternal woe and despair?
It is, and should be the care of a Christian, not to suffer for sin, nor sin in suffering.
I assure you by the Lord, your adversaries shall get no advantage against you, except you sin, and offend your Lord, in your sufferings.
[Job’s three friends] simply assumed that sin and suffering are always inexorably bound together in a cause/effect relationship. Whenever and wherever there is one, there is the other. Notwithstanding what they knew to be true about Job’s character, they refused to budge. They refused to allow the possibility that on occasion, as mysterious as it might seem, a righteous man might suffer greatly.
My child, trust firmly in the Lord, and do not fear the judgment of men when conscience tells you that you are upright and innocent. For it is good and blessed to suffer such things, and they will not weigh heavily on the humble heart that trusts in God rather than itself. Many men say many things, and therefore little faith is to be put in them. Likewise, it is impossible to satisfy all men. Although Paul tried to please all in the Lord, and became all things to all men, yet he made little of their opinions. He labored abundantly for the edification and salvation of others, as much as lay in him and as much as he could, but he could not escape being sometimes judged and despised by others. Therefore, he committed all to God who knows all things.
In our sufferings for Christ there is joy, not so when we suffer for our sins.
The apostles went away rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for the name of Christ, that they were graced so far as to be disgraced for the name of Christ!