The Importance of Suffering with Christ:

As Christians, we are called to follow in the footsteps of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. This means not only embracing His teachings and living a life that reflects His love and mercy, but also sharing in His suffering.

We are called to live a life of sacrifice, just as Jesus did when He voluntarily gave up His life on the cross for the salvation of humanity.

Our faith demands that we not only strive to be good people, but also to be active participants in the world around us.

As we walk in the footsteps of Jesus, we must be willing to share in His suffering. This means taking on the burdens of others, standing up for justice and truth, and persevering in the face of trials and tribulations.

We must never forget that Jesus himself suffered greatly for our sake, and it is through His sacrifice and love that we are able to experience true redemption and salvation.

In Romans 8:17, we are told that “if we suffer with Him, we may also be glorified together.” This passage teaches us that suffering is an integral part of our Christian journey, and that it is through our suffering that we can become more like Christ and ultimately share in His glory.

I. The Believer Must Suffer with Christ

Suffering is a universal human experience, but as Christians, we face unique trials and tribulations. We are called to bear witness to the truth of Christ, and this can often result in persecution and opposition from the world.

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However, the believer who suffers for Christ does so with purpose and meaning. Our suffering is not in vain, but rather it is an opportunity for us to draw closer to God and grow in our faith.

“Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name.” (1 Peter 4:16)

As followers of Christ, we may be called to suffer in various ways:

  1. Poverty: We may experience financial hardship, lack of resources or basic necessities.
  2. Temptation: We may face temptation and struggle with sin.
  3. Persecution and reproach: We may be ridiculed, mocked or even physically harmed for our faith.
  4. Loss of all things: We may lose everything we hold dear, including our homes, possessions, and even our lives.

Despite these challenges, we can take comfort in knowing that we do not suffer alone. We suffer with Christ and for Christ.

When we suffer for Christ, we do so with three important characteristics:

  1. Faith: We suffer because of our faith in Christ and our desire to please Him.
  2. Spirit of Christ: We suffer with the same spirit of Christ, which is meekness, patience, and prayerfulness.
  3. Glory of Christ: We suffer to bring glory to Christ and His kingdom.
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II. The Believer Shall Be Glorified with Christ

While suffering is an essential part of our Christian journey, it is not the end of the story. The same passage in Romans 8:17 also assures us that we shall be glorified with Christ. This means that we shall share in His victory and be exalted with Him.

What does it mean to be glorified with Christ?

  1. Exaltation: We shall be elevated, dignified, enriched, and amply rewarded.
  2. Resurrection: We shall have glorious resurrection-bodies, which are spiritual, luminous, and incorruptible.
  3. Enthronement: We shall be exalted to God’s right hand and have dominion, power, and authority.
  4. Divine Pleasures: We shall drink of the fullness of divine pleasures.
  5. Eternal Kingdom: We shall shine forth in our Father’s kingdom forever and ever.

To be glorified with Christ means to share in His glory, to have a share in His perfect approval from the Father, and to be seated with Him on His throne. It is the ultimate fulfillment of our deepest longings and desires.

Application

Let the Christian suffer joyfully with Christ to the end.

Christians must expect to suffer in this life. But they should do so joyfully because they know that they are suffering for Christ’s sake.

It is a great honor to suffer with Christ, knowing that it will lead to glory. They must also follow Christ’s example of suffering meekly, patiently, resignedly, and prayerfully.

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Let the Christian live in the anticipation of future bliss.

Believers must live in the constant anticipation of the day when they will be glorified with Christ. They must keep their eyes fixed on the prize that awaits them, knowing that it will be infinitely better than anything they have experienced in this life.

Let not the cross be thrown aside.

Believers must not throw aside the cross of Christ. They must embrace it, knowing that if they do not suffer with Him, they will not be glorified together with Him.

The cross is the means by which believers can become conformed to Christ’s likeness and partake in the fellowship of His sufferings. It is the path that leads to glory.

Conclusion

In conclusion, suffering is an integral part of the Christian life. Believers must expect to suffer for Christ’s sake, but they should do so joyfully, knowing that it will lead to glory. They must follow Christ’s example of suffering meekly, patiently, resignedly, and prayerfully.

Furthermore, the concept of suffering in Christianity is not limited to physical pain or persecution, but also includes spiritual struggles and emotional turmoil. The Bible teaches that suffering can refine and strengthen one’s faith, and ultimately lead to a deeper relationship with God.

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