This question came up in small group this week. We are reading The Faith by Chuck Colson and this week’s chapter talked alot about suffering. This discussion paired well with other areas God has been working on me as I flew through Secret Believers and God’s Smuggler over Memorial Day and have since had this internal dialog going on about suffering and God’s call on some to suffer more or in different ways than others.
As we discussed this in group, the conversation turned to trying to identify suffering we experience for the sake of the Gospel, and compared to Bonhoeffer, the Secret Believers, and other stories of suffering, none of us felt like we are truly “suffering” for the gospel. Do we have suffering in life? Absolutely. Is it suffering for the Gospel? Thats a question we grappled with.
At one point my husband made a statement that has left me intrigued. He said:
“If God tells us that all sins are the same and that we shouldn’t compare sin as one being worse than another, is it fair to say that we also shouldn’t compare sufferings among Christians?”
Meaning, is it wrong for Christians to look to others who have endured great suffering for the sake of the Gospel and hold them in a higher regard than others who work for the Gospel but have not been asked to suffer in a similar manner? Can suffering for the Gospel be Measured? Does God measure suffering for the sake of eternal reward? How does scripture address these questions?