10 Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you [falsely] because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven. Thus they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Acts 20:35 - In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”
2 Cor. 1:4 - He comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
2 Cor. 1:6 - If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation.
2 Cor. 12:15 - For the sake of your souls, I will most gladly spend my money and myself.
Eph. 3:13 - I ask you not to be discouraged because of my sufferings for you, which are your glory.
2 Tim. 2:9-10 - I am suffering even to the point of being chained like a criminal. … [But] I endure all things for the sake of the elect, so that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory.
Philippians 1:7 - I have you in my heart. For in my chains and in my defense and confirmation of the gospel, you are all partners in grace with me.
Acts 14:23 - With prayer and fasting they committed them to the Lord in whom they had believed.
Acts 13:3 -After fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off.
In addition to these passages, remember that the whole basis of our redemption rests upon the doctrine that one person can offer up their sufferings for others. In this light, the Suffering Servant passages come to mind: “he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.” Isaiah 53:5
Jesus is the ultimate example of suffering for others. When we do it, we’re just imitating Him.
If anyone wants to go to law with you over your tunic, hand him your cloak as well. Should anyone press you into service for one mile, go with him for two miles. Give to the one who asks of you, and do not turn your back on one who wants to borrow.
When his parents saw him, they were astonished, and his mother said to him, “Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety.”
When a woman is in labor, she is in anguish because her hour has arrived; but when she has given birth to a child, she no longer remembers the pain because of her joy that a child has been born into the world.
The Old Testament story of Joseph comes mind. He suffered being sold into slavery by his jealous brothers, falsely accused of a crime by his master’s wife and imprisoned yet not without purpose. He later said to his brothers:
5 And now do not be distressed, or angry with yourselves, because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life. 6 For the famine has been in the land these two years; and there are yet five years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvest. 7 And God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant on earth, and to keep alive for you many survivors. (Genesis 45:5-7)
I’ll try to remember this thread then, but it will be quite some time before it’s done. I’ve finished the first draft, but a first draft is ususlly only 10% of the work. In my case, it’s usually only 1% of the work. The rest of my effort will be put into editing and polishing.
I am also careful to have my novels critiqued by other authors.
If, in the meantime, you want to read any of my other work, just click on the link in my signature, and it will take you to my blog. My other Christian novels are listied on the right side of the screen, and right now I have a post about an interview with Catholic writer Amy Bennett (in case you like clean mysteries).