Embrace Suffering for the Glory of Christ

“Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. Instead, be very glad—for these trials make you partners with Christ in his suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing his glory when it is revealed to all the world. If you are insulted because you bear the name of Christ, you will be blessed, for the glorious Spirit of God rests upon you.” -1 Peter 4:12-14 NLT

What is it that often makes us quit things? Isn’t it because things start to get difficult or maybe we have faced the opposition of others? We as humans love to have control and comfort in our lives. When things begin to go off course, we tend to quit and ask, “What went wrong?” instead of persevering. I can certainly relate to this principle in my progression as a snowboarder.

I naturally like to spin to the left/cork forward. As a goofy rider, that means I love to spin backside. Basically that means that I have a REALLY hard time with any frontside rotations. I have been trying FS 720s for years and just continue to fall and hurt myself. I have faced some serious push back physically to learning this trick. How likely would I be to land this trick if I stopped pressing forward though? If my goal is to learn this trick, then I need to press forward through the adversity knowing that I will learn along the way! Why should I be surprised when I don’t land it immediately?

What an amazing day when Jesus sees us with all our scars from being persecuted, and He will say, “Well done good and faithful servant! You have shared with Me in my suffering!”

In the same way, our goal as Christians is to be shaped into the image of Jesus. Shouldn’t the push back and persecution for being a Christian be a blessing to us in the same way it was to Jesus? Didn’t Jesus say that because He suffered that you will suffer also? This is something we need to be aware of as we move forward because when you have a group of believers who embrace suffering for the glory of Christ, we have an unstoppable force! It says that we can rejoice in this suffering because it helps us develop endurance, which develops strength of character, which then strengthens our confident hope of salvation. Why would we quit when we consider persecution as a blessing? We should keep getting more stoked to share in Christ’s suffering! Let us not get down when we have opposition, but let us think about how great our reward in heaven will be!

Challenge

Why do you quit?

It starts with a change in thinking, so how can you arm yourselves with this thinking?

Are you suffering for the glory of Christ? Or are you suffering because of your sin?

Are you ready not only to embrace suffering yourself, but also to teach others around you to do the same so you have an unstoppable force?

 

By Nathan Jenkins | Lincoln, NH

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Posted in Devotionals