Colossians: Realistic Expectations... or... How Not to Be Shocked

Rejoicing and suffering seem to not fit together: but Paul experienced both, as he emphatically expressed to the Colossians, as he took on the inevitable but glorious persecution all Christians must face.

John 15:18-25
Colossians 1:24-29,1:19-20,2:9-10
2 Timothy 3:12,2:8-10
Matthew 10:21-22,5:11-12
Acts 9:4-5
2 Corinthians 4:8-11,1:3-7
Philippians 3:10
1 Peter 4:12-14
Romans 8:16-18,12:21
1 Peter 3:13-14
Mark 8:36

As, therefore, Christ has suffered once in his own person, so he suffers daily in His members, and in this way there are filled up those sufferings which the Father hath appointed for his body by his decree. John Calvin John Calvin's Commentaries On St. Paul's Epistles To The Philippians

The oftener we are mowed down by you, the more in number we grow; the blood of Christians is seed. Tertullian Apology 50.13

God hath called you to Christ's side, and the wind is now in Christ's face in this land; and seeing ye are with him, ye cannot expect the lee-side or the sunny side of the brae. Samuel Rutherford The Letters of Samuel Rutherford 1600-1661

He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose. Jim Elliot The Journals of Jim Elliot

Sermon discussion topics for parents to use with their children:

  • Why is it assumed Christians will suffer persecution?

  • What is Union with Christ and how does that fit into this topic?

  • Why is it important to have realistic expectations about this suffering?

  • How does rejoicing fit with suffering in this text?