As followers of Christ we must change the way we view life and how we assess and evaluate the things that happen to us and around us. Some people have been taught an ideological teaching which says believers should not suffer or experience agony and grief. This is far from the truth, this fallen worldsystem is filled with challenges, pain and misery and we all may suffer in life at some point. It is going through these hardships that we learn to trust, respect and obey God’s word just as Jesus did.
Hebrews 5:8 Though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. NKJ
God sent His Son to redeem this world and to pay a debt we could not pay and it was the things He suffered that taught Him obedience and to trust God to navigate His life in this fallen world system. We will encounter tests and trials that will challenge our faith just as Christ did and we too must choose to put our trust and respect in God our Father.
1 Peter4:12-13 Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trail which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. NKJ
God required obedience from the first Adam but he rebelled against God’s command. Jesus came as the second Adam and even though He was the Son of God, He was obedient in the things He suffered. Jesus was despised and rejected by men and He endured the shame of dying on a cross for our sins. The servant is not greater than his master, the things Christ went through believers will go through also. We too may experience persecution, rejection and some may experience a martyr’sdeath or live as an outcast, dead to family and friends.
1 Corinthians 15:45 And so it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. NKJ
Philippians 2:8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. NKJ
Christ is our example in that He trusted God in every situation to judge justly, to orchestrate and navigate life situations in ways that would bring God glory and allow His light to shineinto dark places. Some situations may appear as though we are lost and are without any hope of being vindicated in this life. Though it appeared, in the natural, that Christ was defeated when He died on the cross but His death was a victory for sinners saved by grace. Our limited minds can only see thingsin part, but the Almighty God can reach across the lines of life and death, rich and poor or soul and spirit to bring about a triumph that none could have imagined.
John 15:20 Remember the word that I said unto you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also. NKJ
John 16:33 These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulations; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” NKJ
The difference between the world and the followers of Christ is how they will allow oppositions and life challenges to affect the love they show to others and their actions during times of hardship or suffering. The world will say, you deserve better oryou should not have to suffer through these hard times. However, God’s word tells us of a different way and that we will experience tribulations as Christ followers. Jesus was sent to seek and to save the lost, He came to be spent, depleted and used for us that we may be redeemed. Jesus came and died to His own ambition and laid aside those momentary life accomplishments done in this natural world to do the work of His Father. Now we might be saved, to have an eternal life and to be with Christ forever.
John 20:21 So Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” NKJ
It is when an olive is crushed and the grape is pressed that the true essence of its inner life flows out. It is when a cup is rattledor shaken that what lies within spills out. The same goes for humanity, as life presses in on us, that which dominates withinwill spills out, be it the love of God or the hate and fear of the enemy. When life comes at us hard, when we are well spent and totally exhausted then we will see our true automatic response in those situations. Rather than justifying our actions with theexcuses of this world, we should take note as to what has flowed out of our soul and ask God to create in us a clean heart and to let His love flow in and through us.
Psalms 51:10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. KJV
Life is about challenges and choices and through these challenges and choices we will display our faith and beliefs to both the natural and spiritual world around us. God is glorified when we obey His word and have faith to trust in His love for us. Satan constantly comes to try and create doubt and to challenge God’s word. He is seeking and looking for an opportunity to devour those who give him permission through their lack of knowledge and understanding of God’s word.
Do we expect to receive the good and not the challenges of sonship? It has been the challenges in life that stretch us and grow us into the image of Christ. Though we enjoy and rejoice in God’s blessing and favor, we learn respect, submission and obedience through the things we suffer and the challenges we experience. Paul too was ready to be broken bread and poured out wine that those who knew him might be believe in the risen Christ in his life.
2 Timothy 4:5-6 But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. For I am already being poured out as a drink offering and the time of my departure is at hand. NKJ
2 Corinthians 4:17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. NKJ