by: Matthew Reid/Frontlines Program Coordinator
2 Corinthians 4:8-12 New International Version (NIV)
8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 11 For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. 12 So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.
I remember in my late teens reading this scripture and feeling this overwhelming conviction. I thought to myself, this is a powerful hidden truth! I believe the Holy Spirit was telling me I would suffer as a Christian, but it wouldn’t be in vain. Knowing this gave me an incomprehensible peace when going through tough times.
Going through the storms of life and trusting that the Lord would work all things together for my good, brought me closer to the Lord, and I began to understanding a way my natural mind couldn’t.
However, the world has very seducing philosophies. Stating that:
1) No one should ever have to suffer.
2) Once you become a Christian your suffering stops.
3) Suffering means God is mad at you, and he wants to punish you.
I say these philosophies are of this world, because none of these beliefs are biblical, according to the new covenant we have sealed with the blood of the lamb, Jesus Christ.
The scripture brings insight on the fact that we must die to our own natural selfish nature, and allow Christ’s nature to dwell in us. Although no one will ever have to suffer as Christ did; taking on the sins of the whole world when he died on the cross, prophetically and figuratively we take up our own cross.
As we are going through our own pains and struggles in our lives, armored with FAITH, we can identify with Jesus more. The beautiful part is, just as we are promised suffering, we are also promised to be raised up, just as Christ was raised up on the third day, all unto the glory of God.
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