The True Secret of Success

My heart is racing as I write this. I’m sure it will create some controversy-but that is not the reason I wrote it.

The reason I wrote this article is simple.

Someone needs to speak the truth. Here’s what I mean…

Everywhere I go in the Internet marketing community (and elsewhere), I see people being robbed. I see you being robbed.

There are lies and half-truths that are stealing from you every day. Robbing you.

You are being robbed of customers, profits, success, fulfillment, and peace of mind.

These lies and half-truths are being taught and promoted both by innocent people who don’t know any better, and also by some who are simply out to take your money. Or your life.

These lies are at the root of the problems many Internet marketers are experiencing right now.

Internet Marketing Meltdown

You may not know this, but many so-called “Internet Marketing” and “self-help” “gurus” are in deep trouble these days.

  • Their sales are down.
  • Their refunds and chargebacks are up.
  • Their ride on the gravy train is apparently over.

I don’t write this in order to gloat. These are not, by and large, bad people. They have been robbed, too.

Something huge is happening, and hardly anyone is talking about it.

So… Is Everyone In Trouble?

No, not everyone is experiencing this downturn in business.

Some are thriving.

A few of my colleagues and clients continue to prosper, despite the discouraging economic climate.

I have been blessed to be among those who are prospering.

Here’s a shocking fact: almost without exception, those of us who continue to succeed share a common “x-factor”.

This “x-factor” is the antidote to the lies I mentioned earlier.

It is also effective protection against the thief who seeks to rob you.

It is the secret of my success.

It can be, and should be, yours.

The Only Success Secret You Need

Don’t worry. I’m not out to sell you anything.

I’m going to tell you what this mysterious thing actually is, and I’m not going to charge you for it.

I received it freely, and I will give it freely to you.

But before I do, let me set the stage…

This is the one thing that will give you access to success in all areas…

  • Wealth
  • Health
  • Relationships
  • Business
  • School
  • Love
  • Life

This is the one thing that will free you forever from…

  • Poverty
  • Debt
  • Greed
  • Sickness
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Addiction
  • Fear

This works without you studying, “trying harder”, or attempting to improve yourself.

In fact, as amazing as it seems, “working hard” or “trying” actually works against the “uncommon key” to success I’m talking about. The key itself is a gift and it is, in fact, already yours. All you have to do is accept it.

I’ve Been Keeping This From You

No, I haven’t wished you ill.

I wasn’t keeping it from you to try and deprive you of the good things in life.

You see, I knew all along that for some, this would be hard to accept.

That it might, in fact, make me a few enemies.

So to be polite, and preserve the peace, I’ve kept the secret of my own success pretty much to myself.

But after taking a long hard look at the condition of the people that I know (and love) in this business, and in life in general, I decided that silence was no longer acceptable.

It’s time I let you in on this life-changing key to real success. We’ll begin with this revelation…

Self-help Doesn’t Help

If you have bought more than one self-help product or book… you already know, deep down inside, self-help doesn’t work.

Oh, some of the ideas, techniques, and programs may provide temporary “Band-Aid” fixes for your problems, but it seems like the problems always come back.

It seems like the “fix” is always temporary.

Well, I’ve got some good news.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

You see, the problem with self-help isn’t that you lack discipline, or that you just need to try harder, or any other such nonsense.

The problem is more fundamental.

You’re looking for success in all the wrong places.

And trust me, I know. I did too, for a very long time.

When I Finally Embraced This — It Changed My Life.

Once I fully realized the power of this “singular success key”, my life did a 180° turnaround.

The first thing that happened was my miraculous recovery from clinical depression.

“Recovery” is not the right term; “healing” is the term that most accurately describes what happened to me.

Most people don’t know that in the early 2000’s I suffered from deep, debilitating depression.

For a short while, I underwent counseling and even took antidepressants. Both of those things are good, and they were helpful to me.

But what is even better is the power of this “x-factor” I’m talking about today-the power that completely healed me of depression.

Freed me from taking pills of any kind. Completely changed my outlook on life.

Gave me my joy back.

The freedom I gained also empowered me to leave a successful radio career  to start my own business, and as a result to quickly become one of the most successful direct response copywriters on the Internet.

It seemed as though doors were open to me that were not open to others; it seemed as though nothing I touched could go wrong; and people were beating down my door to have me work with them.

I believe the same thing that caused my amazing healing, that provided incredible financial abundance, that enriched my marriage in ways I never expected, that gave me an “extreme life makeover”… that thing is also freely available to you.

I believe that it can change your life the same way it changed mine.

And I believe it is time for me to unveil this life-changing success secret, and share with you openly.

Doing so will in fact become my life’s work, starting today.

A Strong Warning

I’m about to tell you exactly what I’m talking about, in just a moment.

But let me warn you ahead of time, there will be strong reactions to what I’m about to say.

  • Some simply won’t believe it.
  • Some will be offended.
  • Some will find it hard to swallow because of past hurts or injustices.
  • Some will think they’ve “heard it before” (but I believe you’ve never heard it quite like this).
  • Some will think I’m trying to “sell something”, or that I’m working some kind of angle. I assure you that is not so.
  • Some will unsubscribe, stop reading my materials, and vilify me in online forums.

So be it. But…

I urge you, before you refuse the meal, taste and see for yourself if it’s good.

I assure you it is absolutely the one meal you cannot afford to miss.

How To Receive Success In Everything You Do

Almost everyone I know is looking for “the key” to success in all areas of their life.

Most people, as I’ve already stated, are looking in the wrong places. They are looking for guidance from the wrong people. They are seeking their fulfillment-their success – from the wrong things.

The real answer to all of your problems in life is simple: if you want success and victory in this life, this is my secret (and can easily be yours, too)…

God’s Wisdom Always Leads To Success

I’m here to tell you that whatever you need in life, Jesus Christ, who is God in human flesh, is right beside you and ready to help.

He wants you to experience success in every way that is good.

Not only in some mysterious “afterlife”, but in this world. Today.

I know this is probably different than anything you may have heard before, but stick with me…

Wisdom From God Will Prosper You In Every Way

When I say that “wisdom from God” will bring you prosperity, I’m not talking about pretty, poetic sayings that sound wise.

I’m talking about experiencing a heightened awareness of the right actions to take in life… I’m talking about supernatural intelligence and wisdom that you can have access to. Right now. Today.

You may not know this, you may have never been taught this, but God says in Scripture that he wants us to succeed. And if you will simply partner with him, he will guide you through every challenge you face.

He will give you the wisdom and the intelligence and the understanding to make the right decisions-in business, in relationships, and in life in general.

God will, in fact, place his “favor” on your life. What that means is, everything you touch will prosper.

And don’t worry, there is nothing you need to do in order to earn this favor from God. In fact, it is impossible for you to earn it. You can only receive it from him as a gift.

Hear me clearly: when you choose to follow Jesus, he will give you wisdom and favor in all areas of your life.

Does this mean that you will never face any problems? No. Of course not.

But read this next section very carefully…

Why Bad Things Happen To Good People

Organized religion has been guilty of misrepresenting the nature and character of God.

Perhaps you have been the victim of some of this teaching.

One thing that is commonly taught is that bad things happen to us “for a reason”. That through trials and tribulations, God is shaping our character and teaching us lessons. That there are things we “need to learn”.

There is no doubt in my mind that there are things that each of us do need to learn; and I certainly know that each of us can experience growth in our character.

But none of that gives us the right to impugn the character of God.

If you latch onto nothing else that I say, please get this and receive it in the core of your being: God is good, all the time.

That is the one basic truth of life.

When anything bad happens to us-whether it be sickness, financial problems, emotional trouble, or broken relationships…

…those bad things do not come from God. They come from the enemy of God…

Commonly known as satan.

Yep, I’m talking about “the devil”.

And while “satan” may sound like an old-fashioned idea to you, it might come as a surprise to learn that he is a real being. And he really has an agenda to do you harm.

You see, the devil of Scripture was never portrayed as a red creature with a pointy tail and a pitchfork.

He is, in fact, a powerful being who is filled with pride and who opposes God.

And because God loves you and wants you to succeed – because God has a great destiny for you – satan opposes that. Satan hates you, and wants you to fail!

Without veering off into some pretty deep theological waters, let’s just boil it down to this: good things come from God. Bad things come from the devil.

God wants us to spare us the evils that our enemy has planned for us. And that’s why he sent his son, Jesus Christ, to the earth. Jesus did all the work necessary to “pay the bill” for each and every human being on the face of the earth. To give each of us a clean slate, pay the price of our own sin, and make us righteous in the eyes of God.

But that’s not all.

The Bible says that Jesus came to “destroy the works of the devil”.

The Scripture teaches that we can have protection from the schemes of the enemy, that we can be victorious over the evil that he has planned for us.

The more you behold Jesus, and the work he has done for you, the more wisdom and favor you will receive from him.

And through Jesus, God provides a way for you to receive the benefits of blessing. As you behold Jesus, and learn to sense his presence, and walk in his wisdom, you will experience success and favor in your life.

Wait! Is This The “Prosperity Gospel”?

Some critics of what I am saying here will be quick to label me as a purveyor of the “prosperity gospel”. Or, as is sometimes derisively known, the “health and wealth” gospel.

Well, would you prefer a “sickness and poverty” gospel?

I’ll be quick to admit that I do believe God wants us to prosper.

It isn’t simply about amassing piles of money and toys to make ourselves feel better or to seem more important than other people (that certainly misses the point). It is about receiving everything that God has in store for us-and it is all good.

Because he is good.

This all comes straight from Scripture, too.

God Favors Those Who Honor Him

All we have to do is look in the Bible itself to see that God showed special favor to those who honored him. For instance…

David. Most of us know the story of David and Goliath; the young Israelite who faced the giant Philistine in battle and defeated him with a slingshot. Now, David knew that he could not defeat Goliath from his own strength. David did not trust his own self-effort to give him success in the battle with Goliath. He relied on the power of God. You too have access to that same power. You can trust God to give you victory over the “giants” that you face in your own lifes; the circumstances, sickness, and challenges that come against you.

Solomon. When God asked Solomon what he desired most, Solomon answered that he wanted wisdom – an understanding heart. The Hebrew word that was used in the original text of this story is “shama” which literally means a “hearing heart”. In other words, Solomon asked for a heart that could hear God’s voice. We can ask for the same thing, and God will give us the gift of his wisdom and truth within ourselves. Doesn’t that sound like an advantage in life that you would want?

Joseph. You may or may not remember the story of Joseph from the Old Testament, but he faced some pretty hard times in his life. Joseph was sold into slavery by his own brothers. He was thrown into prison, falsely accused of a crime he did not commit. He languished in prison for years, apparently forgotten. But even during those dark times, Joseph kept his focus on the presence of God. In the end, he was promoted to a position of high authority in the palace and became a ruler in the land. And just like Joseph, when you learn to be sensitive to God’s presence in everything you do (including business and your day-to-day life), you too will experience success.

Jesus himself. Jesus never faced a situation for which he lacked wisdom. We know from Scripture that even when he was a child he amazed the leaders in the Temple with his knowledge of Scripture and of the power of God. When you simply meditate on the word (the Bible) you are actually meditating on the person of Jesus, because the Bible teaches us that he is the Word become flesh. This is how, through the finished work that Jesus did on the cross, and through the gift of his grace over your life, you are free to walk in wisdom, victory, and success.

It really is that simple.

You don’t have to attend church a certain number of times, or say certain prayers over and over again, or do any “work” to receive these blessings of success and prosperity.

Jesus did the work for you, and he gives you the results of his work as a gift.

The Two Traps

At this point, it’s important that we are aware of two traps that await those who wish to follow Jesus and experience the success that he offers.

Those traps are the twin perils of poverty and greed.

Right now, these two mindsets hold the world in their power – especially so in the realm of business and online marketing; they are the source of the economic woes we see all around us today.

The poverty mindset is a product of fear. The kind of fear that tells you there will never be enough, that in order for me to win someone else has to lose, and that disaster is always around the corner. That doesn’t sound like a very pleasant way to live, now does it?

The poverty mindset will keep you broke, in debt, and fearful for the rest of your life if you don’t stand against it.

The other enemy of true prosperity is the greed mindset. This is the mindset of selfishness, of self-aggrandizement, and of making oneself feel better by putting others down. This is the mindset that leads people to collect as many boats, cars, gigantic houses, and material possessions as a way of proving their own value as a person. This mindset is also motivated by fear-the fear of not being valued by others.

It’s Okay To Be Rich – But First Seek God’s Kingdom

Please hear me very clearly: there is nothing wrong with having a big house, or nice cars.

Merely having nice possessions is not an indicator of the condition of someone’s soul.

Neither is having very few possessions; just because someone does not experience financial abundance in one particular moment in time does not mean that they are in thrall to poverty.

Likewise, being focused on material possessions for the wrong reasons can lead to pride, and tempt one to become greedy.

My point is simply this: the external circumstances are never a reliable indicator of the condition of a person’s heart.

But from the standpoint of guarding yourself against great unhappiness, I caution you to avoid both of these deadly mindsets. Stay far away from the poverty mindset, and have faith that even when you are temporarily in lack, there will always be enough. There is always more of everything you need available to you.

Likewise, you should strenuously avoid falling in love with material possessions acquired for the sake of stoking your pride. Piling up “stuff” in order to prove your own value is a quick road to misery.

When you can navigate successfully and stay out of these two mindsets-when you are slave to neither greed nor poverty-you experience what God wants for you with all his heart. You experience true prosperity.

The apostle Paul said that he had learned the secret to being content whether he had much (which he sometimes did) or whether he had nothing (a condition he also experienced frequently). What was his secret? The same secret I’ve been talking to you about all along: he said, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

The Cat Is Out Of The Bag

Jesus Christ is the reason and the source of every good thing that I have experienced in my life.

Yes, he has “saved” my soul and made me “right with God”… and…

  • He also healed me from clinical depression.
  • He restored my love of people.
  • He gave me back my joy.
  • He blessed my marriage, renewing and increasing the joy I already had in my relationship with my wife.
  • He has given me material blessings beyond measure, and the freedom to do work that I love without fear of external economic conditions.
  • He is the reason for my business success.

While I have often talked about being a follower of Jesus in the past, and done so openly, I have never before revealed the true depth of my belief about exactly what it is Jesus has done for me. And what he wants to do for you.

But now, the gloves are off.

I want everyone to experience the same joy, the same piece, and the same prosperity that I myself enjoy.

I realize that for some, this may be a bit much to take. Please know that is not my intention or desire to offend you-far from it, it’s my intention and desire to see you succeed wildly on a whole new scale. It’s what I have committed my life to.

And here’s what that looks like…

My Marketplace Mission: 1,000 Millionaires.

I feel that God has prepared me for this very time to help demolish the mindsets of both poverty and greed that have a grip on so many.

I am privileged to be called to be part of the solution.

Our mission going forward, here at Ray Edwards International, Inc, is a very simple one: to mentor, foster, and lead 1,000 people to become millionaires.

Not to become millionaires for the reasons the world normally supposes people want to be rich. Not so that they can buy the biggest house, or the fastest sports car, or acquire the “most toys”.

Our aim (and my personal mission) is to develop “Kingdom millionaires”. People who seek to accumulate wealth in order to do the work of God’s kingdom.

Leading 1,000 people to become millionaires means bringing one billion dollars into God’s Kingdom – money that will be used for His purposes.

Over the last few years, I’ve had the great privilege of working with many well-known marketers and thought-leaders.

Some of my clients are household names.

I’ve been able to contribute to their success, and my work has been responsible, in part, for bringing millions of dollars into those businesses and those personal fortunes.

Now, I am dedicating my work-all of it-to the building of God’s kingdom.

How? By continuing to help people and businesses create more wealth – but now with a renewed and more accurately-focused purpose. By being dedicated…

  • To the destruction of the poverty and greed mindset.
  • To the creation of new wealth.
  • To the alleviation of suffering, sickness, and poverty.

We are in a world at war. It’s Good against evil.

While evil wants to take over, we resist the idea of giving up a single inch of ground.

This is the sound of a revolution.

If You’re Receiving This Message, You Are The Resistance

If this resonates with you, if you want to be part of this revolution, I invite you to stick with me.

As dark as some people think tomorrow looks, we have a different view.

We believe the future is pregnant with promise, and we are committed to taking back tomorrow from the “gloom and doomers”.

So how can you join in?

First, and absolutely of most importance, make sure you are following Jesus. Accept Him as your Lord (your Master) and as your Savior. It’s not complex. All that is required:

If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

Romans 10:9

Next, if what I’ve said here seems to draw you toward it, then this is your place!

Subscribe to this blog, if you haven’t already.

In the coming days and weeks, you’ll see our new focus reflected in the articles we publish, the podcasts we produce, the information products and books we make available.

My teaching and materials will reflect the principles of helping you build wealth from a foundation of Kingdom principles – for Kingdom purposes.

We will be together on the journey of true prosperity.

And like John, the beloved disciple of Jesus, I want you to prosper, even as your soul prospers.

I look forward to contributing to your success.

We have some exciting things in store for you.

In the meantime…

May you prosper wildly, and may you be radically blessed.

Yours in Christ,

Ray

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Ray Edwards is a world-renowned copywriter and communications strategist, writing for some of the most powerful voices in leadership and business including New York Times bestselling authors Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen (Chicken Soup for the Soul) and Tony Robbins. Ray is a sought-after speaker and author, hosts a popular weekly podcast, and blogs at RayEdwards.com.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Anonymous

    Way to be, Ray! Makes me feel good to see you stepping up your already amazingly awesome game of life. Enjoyed reading your post and my only wish was that I was there at PLF to witness this live. Look forward to chatting sometime soon.

  • Nicholas

    This article has made me realize something that I have known in my heart for years but with my rational mind could not believe. I now truly know and believe with my heart and mind that I have always had this key but did not realize it until now. The path to my success has always been there, I have just been trying to take other paths even though I have seen it the entire time. I have to thank you for this post because it has truly been an extremely helpful conformation of my belief, that I could not find from another person or source. Thank you Ray.

    • http://writingriches.com/ RayEdwards

      You’re welcome – thank you!

  • http://battlegroundbuzz.com Joshua Monen

    Hi Ray, thank you for sharing this! We haven’t met but I’m also happy to be in a relationship with Jesus. I’m a copywriter also.

    What you shared really encouraged me. I can relate to some of the things you said too. Like the depression part. Before God healed me I was diagnosed as clinically depressed, bi-polar and ADHD. I was on lots of meds which weren’t working. I was suicidal and addicted to cocaine. 

    But God’s grace and the blood of Jesus set me free! I’m so happy to be alive spiritually now and to enjoy a blessed marriage to my beautiful wife. 

    I agree that we’re living in a time where it’s important to navigate between greed and poverty. As God’s children I believe we have the responsibility to be ambassadors for Christ. To represent and reflect the goodness of God. 

    I could go on and on but I really want to just say thank you for sharing this. If you’re interested you can read some of my sites: 

    Beyondcliches.com
    BattleGroundBuzz.com
    JoshuaMonen.com
    KingdomSteward.com

    Thank you again and many blessings to you and your family.

    In Christ,
    Joshua Monen

    • http://writingriches.com/ RayEdwards

      I really appreciate your sharing this, Joshua. My favorite part: “But God’s grace and the blood of Jesus set me free!”

  • KatherineH

    Ray, thanks for so clearly stating that the reason for your success is Jesus. I’m so happy to find someone seasoned in the world of business who knows it’s okay to make money (that aiming to do so does not necessarily mean I’m greedy, if done with the right motivation), and still believe in Him.

    Along that line, the Lord has recently been pointing out to me (in Scripture) that I should not be “casting my pearls before swine”. (?) I know that sounds bad, but basically, in a symbolic sense, that’s what I’ve been doing by trying to get help from people who are not committed to going His way, and I have paid for it.

    I lost my job in 2005 by doing something others didn’t understand, and I didn’t stick around to enlighten them, let’s just say. I didn’t want to have to explain this kind of a thing to people who probably had no concept of spiritual things. Result: 3 black marks on my employment record at the state level that has kept me from getting anything but sporadic temporary work since then. I turned to the internet, and got burned at trying many things along the way. But I just kept trying.

    …In spite of that, I just want to say, Jesus is still Lord. There is something really wonderful about the way He does things; His economy trumps anything the world can do in this area. In fact, part of His strategy at times seems to be to “save me money”.

    I’m perhaps from the opposite side of where you come from, Ray, when you say you have a vision to empower 1000 people to become millionaires for the Kingdom’s sake. (I truly believe God IS empowering you to do it, too, from what I’ve already seen.)

    From where I come from, even when I made/make mistakes, God has somehow been there to creatively and graciously fill in the gaps, somehow. Why, at the beginning of this month, I thought I only had a few cents in my bank account, but when I checked at the ATM, there was $600.88, and it kept being there. I went back through several bank statements and discovered a $500 deposit (there, in my own handwriting) that I KNOW could not have been put there by me, and there was no explanation underneath it, as I usually try to provide. And the month before, there was something else (I forget now). And before that, it was unexpected payment for helping an older lady for a year (she had no money to pay me, she said)…and on, and on.

    Kingdom pay is far more than money, much or little, as you also seem to be saying. Little that I have in my bank account, I still feel rich, as long as God keeps providing for me and in ways I can be of service to others!

    • http://writingriches.com/ RayEdwards

      @KatherineH Amen and Amen! May the Lord continue to bless you richly in the name of Jesus!

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  • ben

    thank you ray and God bless.

  • zzdiana

    There’s just a postscript that I’d add to your “One Thing” Ray, and that is:
    DO THE WORK.
    You have to DO whatever it takes; with focused attention, a clear mind, a willing heart, and BELIEF.

  • http://www.leavingconformitycoaching.com Randy Crane

    An interesting and powerful message, Ray. Not intending to be negative or operating out of a poverty mindset, but I have two questions.

    1) How does this message apply to those who are believers in countries where they are being persecuted, even martyred for their faith? How does the idea that God wants only their success and prosperity both in this life and in the life to come relate to them?

    2) I agree that the Bible talks about God wanting our best and to bless us, materially and spiritually. But isn’t it also safe to say that suffering can and often is part of His will for us because our character and holiness are more important than our comfort and happiness? Just as one small example, Paul says, “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).

    What are your thoughts on these?

    Thanks!

    • http://rayedwards.com Ray Edwards

      Randy,

      Thank you for your thoughtful questions. These are, in my opinion, some of the toughest questions we can ask. And I welcome them. I don’t pretend to have all the answers, but I do know the One who does. And whenever I get stumped for an answer, I remind myself that He is not surprised by anything that happens, and is not worried about the outcome. He even forgives me of any of my wrong ideas about Him.

      I do not take your questions to be negative, nor indicative of a poverty mindset, but rather to be honest questions that all of us might ask.

      1. How does this message apply to believers in countries where they are being persecuted? I want to be clear that I don’t have all the answers, but part of the answer is: us. I have this feeling that many times we are looking at situations like the ones you describe here, saying to God, “how can you allow this to happen?”… And I at least imagine that God may be whispering back to us, “how can you?” At least part of the answer has to be that we are His body on the earth. And when our brothers and sisters are being persecuted, when they are hungry, when they are sick, we are called to be part of the answer. Some of us are called in different ways, and each part of the body has a different function to fulfill, but clearly we are on a progressive journey to the maturity of the body of Christ on the earth.

      2. Is it safe to say that suffering can and often is part of his will because of character and holiness, etc.? Only when it does not contradict his direct word and promises. Frankly, I do not believe that God ever sends evil upon his children in order to teach them a lesson. I know that you will probably have passages come to mind from the Old Testament that seem to contradict this. But I believe there is a fundamental difference between what God “wills” and what actually happens on the earth as a result of our free will. This opens a particular can of worms, but let me just go ahead and say it straight out: I do not believe that everything that happens on the earth is God’s will. The Bible clearly says that he it is not his will that any should perish. Yet we know that every day many are perishing. That’s proof enough for me that things happen on earth in its fallen state that are outside of God’s will. The whole story of the Bible from beginning to end is about the restoration of his “will on earth as it is in heaven”.

      Finally, I think there is room for us to discuss the meaning of prosperity and success. In my own thinking, these often mean things that look different than we expect. But I do not mean this as a copout, in other words, I am not saying, “oh, he didn’t mean actual material wealth, he just meant spiritual wealth.”

      What does it mean to participate in Christ’s suffering? Does it mean that we are to die and atoning death that pays for the sin of the world? Clearly that is not the case. Does it mean that we are to suffer the same illnesses that Christ suffered? Because he suffered none. Does it mean that we are to suffer the effects of sin, just as Christ sin and suffer the effects? Clearly not, because he is without sin. Does it mean that we are to suffer poverty, as he did? No. Because the Bible teaches us that he became poor so that we might become rich. Let’s not have any cowardly redefinitions of what it means to be rich. Yes, the riches that Christ brought us through his poverty include our eternal salvation, and also include perfect health and material provision.

      Just because we may not be experiencing these things in all their fullness does not mean that we have the privilege of redefining the promises of God.

      What I am struck by is the fact that Paul himself suffered for Christ through ridicule, persecution, and accusations. I believe this is at least part of the answer to what it means to suffer for Christ. I can personally tell you that when one boldly proclaims the full extent of God’s grace toward us, it does bring persecution. Suffering.

      Randy, your questions are not persecution, and I know they are asked in love and a true seeking of answers. Even if we do not agree, I am okay with that. There are many that I hear from who are not so kind. Who hurl all sorts of invective, insults, accusations, and condemnation upon me and what I’m doing. That seems to me at the very least to be part of what it means to suffer for Christ.

      Finally, let me say that my heart breaks for my brothers and sisters who are physically persecuted for their belief and faith in our Lord. I know that many are tortured and killed for their faith. Truly they have indeed suffered for the sake of his name. Why it is necessary that this happen, I simply cannot tell you. I have no answer. I honor them, I love them, I cherish them, and their blood cries out for vengeance. That day of vengeance will come (not against flesh and blood, but against Satan and his angels, for whom Hell was prepared).

  • Bee Johnson

    Oh, this post is terrific. Deeply beautiful. Thank you Ray. I have been a Christian for 50 years. And every single day I’m still in a learning mode. So many problems we’ve faced in our family and came through them all with our strong faith, knowing Jesus is our hope.

  • http://www.drchristyd.com/ Dr. Christy Demetriades

    Ray, this is absolutely FANTASTIC! I wholeheartedly agree! Thank you so much for sharing – you are an inspiration and encouragement to us all – especially me. Blessings brother! Warmly, Christy :)

  • http://www.prominentimpressions.com/ Gloria Coleman

    Amen Ray!!! I was introduced to you today via Amy Porterfield’s Podcast where you were the guest speaker. I have been glued to your web site for the past 3-hours listening to your podcasts and reading blog posts. God is so good and delivers what I need when I least expect it. Thanks for the educational and spiritual enrichment.

  • TC

    A brave and lovely post, Ray. Thank you and blessings to you.

    • http://rayedwards.com/about/ Ray Edwards

      Thanks TC

  • http://readtoleadpodcast.com/ Jeff Brown

    Way to go Ray! I’m all in! Thank you for the encouragement you’ve been to me the past year plus. Count me as one of the 1000!

    • http://rayedwards.com/about/ Ray Edwards

      That encouragement thing? It goes both ways. Thank you, Jeff.

  • http://www.MartinWales.com Martin Wales

    The “Truth” is the truth whether others believe it or not, like it or not, accept it or not. I accept!
    God Bless you Ray for your fortitude, devotion to the Lord above all, and the name above all names on earth – Jesus!

    I’m in. Let me know how I can support you brother., Again, re your post – Amen, Amen, and Amen!

    • http://rayedwards.com/about/ Ray Edwards

      Much appreciated Martin.

  • Amanda Risi

    Amen, thank you Ray, for laying the truth on the table so perfectly, especially for those not in the know. This is a great post for every seeker. You’ve expressed here what I often say about God being good ALL the time and Satan being more than just a silly notion but a real adversary. You’ve shone the light of Jesus in this article, shown again our purpose in seeking God’s kingdom and acknowledging God in all our ways. Count me in!

    • http://rayedwards.com/about/ Ray Edwards

      I appreciate you Amanda!

  • http://www.thedailyretort.com/ TorConstantino

    I can only say “wow” – fantastic post Ray! Truly inspiring!!!

    • http://rayedwards.com/about/ Ray Edwards

      Thanks Tor