Now just a personal note on suffering and some thoughts. I have been to a good number of places in my travels with the gospel. Some of these places have been in very hostile environments and the need for secrecy and carefulness were expedient. I have been accepted and welcomed in most places I have been but I have also been mocked, ridiculed, called really nasty names, treated hurtfully and threatened on occasions as well. I have never been physically beaten, put in jail or prison, had my house or car set on fire, had my family threatened or harmed, or placed in isolated abuse and hunger. I have had to leave places in the middle of the night and I have also chosen to leave in the middle of the day.
But the greatest suffering I have had to deal with has been from religion. Of all the spirits that we must deal with concerning suffering; the religious spirit is by far the most seditious, mean, cruel and evil. Most of the conflict with the religious spirit comes from one person/group not agreeing you and your opinion. This may be complete religious systems (Muslim-Christian for example) or denominational differences, Catholic-Protestant, Full Gospel-Unfull Gospel, Reformed-Deformed-Informed-Uninformed and the list is almost endless and to the tiniest degree of differences. It should certainly be no surprise because it was the conflict of Jesus throughout the gospels with the religious system of his day that disagreed with his teaching on the Kingdom of God and eventually killed him for his teaching compared to theirs and the Law.
Having done some study on church history and especially the years following Constantine (300 AD) and up to the Reformation and the treatment of Protestant groups of/to one another, it is a true wonder that I believe any of it. The only thing that has kept me is not religion but the life and teaching of Jesus. All the rest of it is a type of suffering to me.
‘Follow me.” Jesus