Stand Firm/Love Well | Unshakeable | Share in the Suffering
But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering. Romans 8:17
Wouldn’t it be great if life was like a buffet? We could stroll along and give our orders to the servers: “I’ll have some financial prosperity over there,” we would say. “Give me a big helping of relaxation and another of fun…oooh, I like the looks of that spouse over there and a couple of cute, obedient children. I’ll skip this row of disappointment and heartache. Yuck. Oh, and don’t give me any tragedies or failures. Don’t like them. Hmm…I want a scoop of popularity…make that two scoops. And last, I’d like that fluffy whipped heavenly dessert topped with cherubs and glittery candies. Yum! That’s the life for me!”
Unfortunately, life is more like a pre-packaged lunch handed to us without our asking. It’s up to us what we do with it. Most of the time it includes healthy portions of things we would never choose. But it is those things that build us. We’d prefer to skip the cross, but Jesus said we must carry one if we are to follow Him to heaven (Luke 9:23). If we want all God has for us, we can’t treat life like a buffet because God uses hard times to make us more like Jesus. He was rejected; we must be willing to be rejected for His sake. He denied Himself; we must deny ourselves. He sacrificed for God’s will; we must sacrifice for God’s will. He suffered on earth for the glory of God; so must we. But He invites us to an eternal feast far better than our buffet.
Final Thought: In what ways are you sharing in the sufferings of Jesus?
Prayer: Father, I avoid suffering whenever possible. I’ve even taken the easy way at times when you wanted me to stand firm for truth. Please forgive me. I want all you have for me, even if it includes suffering. Make me like Jesus. In His name, Amen.