A Chinese Perspective on Christian Suffering

By its very nature, suffering has its roots in this fallen world. But in the hands of a saving God, suffering turns into an inevitable, glorious mark of true Christianity. 1 Peter 4:12-13 admonishes us, “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.” The reality of our resurrected lives in Christ as we await his return in this fallen world necessarily implies that we will suffer with and for Christ. Our suffering is a spiritual continuation of his suffering in this world and from this world. It is embedded in our union with Christ that bestows a life of new creation and the rich heavenly benefits of justification, sanctification, adoption, and glorification. Looking from the other side of heaven, standing in this world, we recognize that all of these have the inescapable feature of suffering.