The Suffering Church meets the Triumphant Church where the church truly experiences the Joy of the Lord—i.e., when the Glory of the Lord becomes its passion. The strength of the Suffering Church is the Lord Himself! Their hope is in Christ for this life and the next (1 Cor. 15:19-28). Their rallying cry is that of the Suffering Servant (Isaiah 52:13-53:12), who came to serve and to save. In living their Christian witness every day amid hatred and fear, they bear their own painful crosses—that they may stand the test and be found faithful.
Suffering Church: Scripture References
1 Peter 4:12-19 2 Corinthians 11:23b-30
Philippians 3:7-11 Luke 21:10-18
Philippians 1:27-30 2 Timothy 3:12-15
Joy of the Lord: Scripture References
Psalm 30 2 Corinthians 7:4b-7
Psalm 95:1-7 Philippians 1:4-5; 1:18-20; 3:1a; 4:4,10
Triumphant Church: Scripture References
Psalm 96 1 Corinthians 15:54-58
Psalm 100 1 John 5:3-5
Revelation 4:9-11 Romans 8:16-19
I Peter 1:3-7 2 Corinthians 4:6-18
The Triumphant Church’s passion is the Risen Lord and Savior! With the empty tomb before them, they understand the message of the cross as triumph, as the very power of God (1 Cor. 1:18)
What can the world offer to compete with the working out of their faith? Just what it offers us: ease, entertainment, diversion, pleasures, "fun", fear, uncertainty, anxiety, depression, hopelessness, hatred, etc. But in their walk of faith, members of the Triumphant Church have discovered the joy of the Lord—that transcends all these. The glory of the Lord has become their passion.