WITH THE SUFFERING JESUS
“If we are children, we are heirs as well: heirs of God, heirs with Christ, if only we suffer with Him so as to be glorified with Him.” –Romans 8:17
Jesus is with us (Mt 28:20), and we are with Him. We are heirs with Him and glorified with Him “if only we suffer with Him.” Everyone wants to be a glorified heir, but are we willing to be a crucified sufferer with Him? Do we miraculously even find joy in sharing in His sufferings? (Col 1:24; 1 Pt 4:13) Do we consider it a privilege not only to believe in Him but also suffer with and for Him? (Phil 1:29) Do we “consider the sufferings of the present to be as nothing compared with the glory to be revealed in us?” (Rm 8:18)
Jesus wants to remove many, but not all, sufferings from our lives. Jesus continues to free men and women who have been in the bondage of Satan, shackled (Lk 13:16), drained of strength, and badly stooped for eighteen years (Lk 13:11) or more. Jesus’ heart is moved with pity for us (Mt 9:36). By His wounds, Jesus heals us (1 Pt 2:24). However, Jesus does not remove all sufferings. He gives us the opportunity to “fill up what is lacking” in His sufferings “for the sake of His body, the church” (Col 1:24).
Therefore, be healed of many sufferings and also choose to suffer in the pattern of Jesus’ death (Phil 3:10). Choose to suffer persecution and rejection for the Gospel. Choose fastings, penances, and other sacrifices. Rejoice! You are not suffering alone. You suffer with Him.
PRAYER: Jesus, teach me how to share in Your sufferings by being formed into the pattern of Your death (Phil 3:10).
PROMISE: “God gives a home to the forsaken; He leads forth prisoners to prosperity.” –Ps 68:7
PRAISE: Being financially strained, the Wilsons have learned to rely on Jesus for their daily bread.