Thursday – November 9, 2017 – The Role of Suffering
Romans 8:17-18 (NIV) Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. 18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.
Parties are fun, but suffering not so much. We all want to be at the party, but few of us consider the cost of throwing the party. Parties and feasts become much more meaningful when you have an experience in which to contrast them. Paul was stoned and left for dead on one of his missionary journeys, but he also raised someone from the dead in Troas. Imagine the suffering he endured when he was being stoned and the exhilaration that he experienced when he raised the young man from the dead. Place yourself with him when he found himself floating in the depth of the ocean for a day and a night and when he was taken to Heaven and given revelations that were too great to express. Go with him to the Corinthian Church where his testimony was that he was weak and fearful and trembling when he first came to them, but at the same time he came in the demonstration of the Spirit and power. Read 1 Corinthians 2:1-5.
Be with Peter when he was put in prison waiting for the sentence of death, but also be with him when he fell into a trance in Acts 10 and was told to lay aside his well-established prejudices and by so doing, opened the gospel to the Gentiles.
Read the entire chapter of Hebrews 11, contrasting the first part of the chapter where great victories were won and champions celebrated to the second part where saints were tortured, mocked, imprisoned and martyred. They were sawn in two, slain by the sword and wandered destitute. They endured all of this in order to obtain a better resurrection.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for suffering for us and paying the price that ensures our resurrection and a place at the feast. You paid all of the price and we get the benefit of Your suffering.