Why Do The Righteous Suffer or Why is There Suffering for The Righteous?

John the Baptist was a special man, he was unique and anyone who truly worshipped God in his time loved and respected him. Yet, he suffered untold hardship as a righteous man. Why Do The Righteous Suffer or Why is There Suffering for The Righteous?

“And there went out unto him all the land of Judaea, and they of Jerusalem, and were all baptized of him in the river of Jordan, confessing their sins.” [Mark 1:5]

In Mark 6:20, we have this testimony of him, “For Herod feared John, knowing that he was a just man and an holy, and observed him; and when he heard him, he did many things, and heard him gladly.”

Even Jesus Christ testified of him, “Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.” [Matthew 11:11] There could have been no greater testimony than Christ’s for a human being; John got that testimony.

John the Baptist Suffered
But what kind of life did he live? John was a man who:

Wore Sun-baked leather, not the soft Gucci designer-type!

Ate dinner of locusts and honey, not caviar washed down with champagne!

Lived in the wilderness, not in mansion of 10 bedrooms, 20 receptions and whirlpools!

Preached from the door of his wilderness-house, not the Megachurch that counts millions in tithes!

Was found in the company of the poor, not in the parties of the celebrities and royalty!

Stood up against injustice and wickedness, not the compromise of hypocrisy!

In fact, he preached one sermon against the sin of adultery exhibited by the regal Herod, who took and married his brother’s wife due to his position of power and royalty; and John was later arrested as a result.

Mark 6:17  For Herod himself had sent forth and laid hold upon John, and bound him in prison for Herodias’ sake, his brother Philip’s wife: for he had married her.

Mark 6:18  For John had said unto Herod, It is not lawful for thee to have thy brother’s wife.

Mark 6:19  Therefore Herodias had a quarrel against him, and would have killed him; but she could not:

In the end, while John was in prison, he sent a message to Jesus, perhaps expecting Jesus to “speak the word” and get him miraculously set free to continue his “ministry”. He did not get that “comfort” from the Lord.

Matthew 11:2  Now when John had heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples,

Matthew 11:3  And said unto him, Are you he that should come, or do we look for another?

Matthew 11:4  Jesus answered and said unto them, Go and show John again those things which you do hear and see:

Matthew 11:5  The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them.

What an answer!

Suffering of Imprisonment

Suffering of Imprisonment

I am quite sure if this was a prayer request to a church in this generation, we would start a 24-hour prayer chain, campaign relentlessly and fight for “our rights”. But Jesus had a different thing in mind, He saw the whole picture differently, He KNEW something much more beautiful and greater was waiting for John if he would just go the full distance in his sufferings.

“For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.” [Matthew 16:25]

Jesus wanted John to lose his life for Him. Why? It was going to be the ultimate suffering of the righteous. It is the thing that makes God to stand up in His throne and receive the saint into his place of rest (Acts 7:55-56).

The road of suffering is a cold and lonely place. It is also the place where no one enjoys to walk. David the shepherd boy, a reject of the family, will confirm to you. Hannah the barren woman will tell you of her endless tears on that path.

God’s Perspective of Suffering…
Looking at John the Baptist, who would argue that he was not mentally imbalanced, considering the type of life he lived or chose to live? He could have chosen to become a hugely successful politician, but he chose to be a preacher!

The truth of the matter is that the righteous that seems to be suffering from the human perspective is seen differently in the sight of God. In God’s Presence, he is highly admired and beloved” (Job 1:8, 2:3).

“Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.” [John 15:15]

“And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.” [Luke 16:15]

This is in contrast to the things we hold dearly to, we <a title="Prosperity of the Wicked?" href="http://brotherjohn.org/prosperity

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