We are called to suffer for the Gospel. Paul calls it "suffer," but really, God's Kingdom has a different vocabulary which often has meanings exactly opposite from how the world defines words and terms. Like suffer. Suffering for the Kingdom is always an empowered suffering.
"Join me in suffering for the (Life of Jesus) Gospel, by God's power," [2 Tim.1.8].
Suffering is Power!
Suffering means being empowered. The less you suffer in your Christian life, the less you are empowered. You ask God in prayer to take away all your hardships, the more powerless you become. This does not mean. however, that you ask God to pour you tons of problems. Remember Jesus' tip on prayer? "Don't lead us to temptation (or tests), but get us out of evil."
For sure, we will all get our share of hardships in life. But some would opt out and pray to be spared of every problem. Sometimes they get an answered prayer and think they're so blessed to have been spared of it. And the rest would look in envy and wonder why some church people are so "blessed" to have so few problems and easier lives, and they seem to get nothing in life but trials.
Wrong! People who encounter lesser problems and live easier lives are powerless. Don't envy them. God disciplines whom he loves. Well, of course, this does not apply if you suffer for a sin or disobedience. That's not what we're talking about here. We're talking of suffering for righteousness sake like Jesus did.
And Paul said empowered suffering is for godliness, or being like God. In a deeper sense, being God's flesh or having God himself live your life on earth through Jesus manifesting in you 100 percent. "In fact, all who want to live like God one earth will be persecuted!" [2 Tim.3.12]. Real power from God can only come through the cross of Jesus. That's why he urged us to take up his cross daily and live like him.
Power does not come through positions, titles, degrees, activeness in church, church membership, church income and possessions, non-stop worships, overnight prayer meetings, or church planting--many of which are done by denominations--not for God's Kingdom--but to enlarge their own petty kingdoms, synagogues of Satan.
I believe in prosperity and wealth transfer from the wicked to the righteous. This is being prepared in the last days for Kingdom advancement on earth. Some rich denominations claim their riches is a fulfillment of the prophesied wealth transfer in the bible. Far from truth! God's wealth transfer will be used for kingdom advancement, not for any church denominational advancement. The wealth they have come from solicitations and manipulations, worming their way into unsuspecting homes, having a "Gospel" front, and taking captive weak-willed women, says the bible, not from a "transfer" that is Holy Spirit driven. It's something supernatural, something like how God rained manna in Moses' time.
Wealth transfer is like a church suddenly getting million dollar checks from anonymous sources, and the anonymous sources have been touched by God and could not sleep unless they make and send the checks. No human effort. No solicitations or hardselling of your church or membership. The only "effort" the church exerts is allowing Jesus to live the lives of the members daily.
Or, a church has a business or tent making activity (like how the Acts church sold their properties and their "goods") and suddenly their sales skyrocket! They can't explain it but demand for their products simply increases like crazy so that sales increase by millions daily.
And this will happen to churches whose hearts have been purified and cleansed by righteous suffering. Righteous suffering that seemed endless, but now finally ended because the heart has been molded to be Jesus' very heart. That's empowered suffering that makes sure God's money will be used for Kingdom advancement only, not to expand the kingdom (or church denominations) of men.
Genuine Kingdom prosperity for the church will happen once each individual member of the church sees the folly of being rich in this world. As it is, many church people, even most pastors, still bow down to worldly riches. They want to be rich like rich non-believers--to enjoy luxury and boast of it, too. When you have given up everything, you start to own all things. Paul said, "All things are yours...and you are Christ's," [1 Cor.3.21]. That is predicated on Christ owning you 100 percent, when you have given up everything.
God's plan is for the true church to be rich, while its members become poorer in spirit as the church handles more wealth. No individual in church wants wealth for him or herself, but the church's wealth is all spent for Kingdom advancement, for tremendous spiritual empowerment, for building up the one, universal, spiritual glorious church of Jesus Christ, without spot or wrinkle or any blemish or denomination.
But all this does not come without suffering--empowered suffering, that is. Real power comes from the cross of Jesus, a stumbling block to the religious and churchy (Jews) and foolishness to the denominationally indoctrinated (Greeks).