In Leadership, Personal Growth

A few summers ago as I was working in my office, I received a phone call from Dr. Karl Bandlien. It was the first time I had met Dr. Bandlien and he was calling to complete the application process to join KCIA, where he had been referred by a mutual friend and Board member. After a few minutes of getting acquainted and sharing information, Dr. Bandlien abruptly said, “As I was praying, I received a word for you from the Lord.”

“What is it?” I asked. “Feel free to share it.”

“The Lord says to tell you that He has chosen you to lead KCIA because you have suffered much, and been willing to suffer for Him, therefore He can trust you with increased authority,” said Dr. Bandlien.

I felt this word impact my Spirit as it was being delivered and received, and have since thought about it a few times, and meditated and reflected upon it.

I had not previously equated or correlated suffering with spiritual leadership, but soon realized that the Bible is full of such connections and comparisons, especially concerning Jesus (see Isaiah 53:1-12, Phil. 2:5-11). In this age where hyper grace and cheap grace are being preached and taught by some leaders, I think it is healthy and useful to be reminded that there are no shortcuts to sanctification and spiritual maturity, and that real grace, while free, is costly, as Dietrich Bonhoeffer so eloquently wrote in prior to his martyrdom. Many of us want to experience the glory but not the suffering. It doesn’t work that way in the Kingdom. They go together.

Even with the Dominion Mandate (Gen. 1:26-28), suffering is involved in walking that out in our lives and seeing it manifest and come to pass. Regarding Joseph, Psalm 105:19 NLT says, “Until the time came to fulfill his dreams, the Lord tested Joseph’s character.” Now don’t get me wrong. I am not saying we should seek out or enjoy suffering. Far from it. But, when it comes, we must be willing to endure “hardships and suffering as a good soldier of Jesus Christ” (2 Tim. 2:23, AMP). Following are several more Scriptures which speak to this subject. I pray they will encourage, enlighten and empower you.

“Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because whoever suffers in the body is done with sin.” (1 Pet. 4:1, NIV) “Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin.” (1 Pet. 4:1, KJV)

“In bringing many sons and daughters to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through what he suffered. Both the one who makes people holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters.” (Heb. 2:10-11, NIV)

“Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” (2 Timothy 3:12, NIV, NASB) “In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” (2 Timothy 3:12, NIV)

“But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters. Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.” (1 Pet. 4:15-16, KJV) “If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name.” (1 Pet. 4:15-16, NIV)

“The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” (Rom. 8:16-18, NIV)

“I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.” (Phil. 3:10-11, NIV)

“But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.” (1 Pet. 4:13, NIV)

“For just as Christ’s [own] sufferings fall to our lot [as they overflow upon His disciples, and we share and experience them] abundantly, so through Christ comfort (consolation and encouragement) is also [shared and experienced] abundantly by us.” (2 Corinthians 1:5, AMP)

“Withstand him (Satan); be firm in faith [against his onset—rooted, established, strong, immovable, and determined], knowing that the same (identical) sufferings are appointed to your brotherhood (the whole body of Christians) throughout the world.” (1 Peter 5:9, AMP)

“For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.” (2 Cor. 4:17, KJV) “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” (2 Cor. 4:17, NIV)

“In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation.” (1 Pet. 5:10, NLT)

“They encouraged them to continue in the faith, reminding them that we must suffer many hardships to enter the Kingdom of God.” (Acts 14:22, NLT)

“Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.” (2 Cor. 4:10, NLT)

“I am glad when I suffer for you in my body, for I am participating in the sufferings of Christ that continue for his body, the church.” (Col. 1:24, NLT)

“And God will use this persecution to show his justice and to make you worthy of his Kingdom, for which you are suffering.” (2 Thess. 1:5, NLT)

About the Author: Bruce Cook, Ph.D., is an ordained minister and a commissioned apostle and prophet and has significant experience in business consulting, fundraising, private equity investments, business development, marketing, corporate communications, branding, media relations, advertising, and higher education and is considered a leading authority on private equity, fundraising, publishing, corporate finance, marketplace ministry and philanthropy. He is a frequent speaker for conferences, seminars and workshops, resides in the Seattle, Washington area, and is married with two grown sons and two granddaughters. He is the Chairman & CEO of Inc., Kingdom House Publishing, and Kingdom Congressional International Alliance (KCIA). In addition, he is a director or trustee of WorkLife, The Glory House Ministries, Indigenous People’s Foundation, Family Church of Gig Harbor, and Kingdom Economic Yearly Summit (KEYS). In 2015 he received the Distinguished Leadership Award from I Change Nations and was designated an Honorary Ambassador by Golden Rule International.

Earlier in his career Cook was Research Coordinator for the University of Texas Investment Management Company (UTIMCO), where he was a member of the Private Markets team responsible for alternative asset investments totaling over $500 million per year, and in aggregate, several billion dollars. Prior to that he was Assistant Manager of the largest bank in Arkansas, Worthen Bank, now owned by Bank of America, responsible for $10M daily in transactions. Dr. Cook is an author, ordained minister, and contemporary Christian songwriter and producer. His CD’s include Songs in the Night (2003), Daddy’s in the House (2004) and Wealth of the Kingdom (co-producer, 2008); Seven Mountain Symphony: Transforming the 7 Mountains of Culture was a two-disc set released in 2009 (co-producer). He is the author of Partnering with the Prophetic (2011, 2014) and also completed a five-volume apostolic anthology titled Aligning with the Apostolic: An Anthology of Apostleship (2013), for which he served as General Editor and wrote Volume One. Several other books are currently in process dealing with finance, economics, and business.

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