Pastor's Column: Suffer with Christ
March 11. 2014 1:28PM
Here's the passage of scripture that really has me thinking lately:
"The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs--heirs with God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him." (Romans 8:16-17)
Two things from this passage stick with me.
First, if we are true, real-deal, born-again, Heaven-bound Christians (as opposed to nominal, in name only, cultural "Christians"), we have the Holy Spirit inside of us, working upon us, revealing to us that we belong to God and that we will one day have eternal reward in Heaven.
Second, one of the signs that we really are real-deal believers is our willingness to suffer with Christ.
We Americans tend to spend most of our time and fortune attempting to eliminate or alleviate our personal suffering (insurance, medication, expensive distractions from the cares of life, hospitals, etc.). We dread death. We are devastated if we miss out on blessings that other people are experiencing (marriage, kids, big house, nice vacations, great health).
It's perfectly appropriate to attempt to alleviate certain types of personal suffering. But, maybe we should partially flip our thinking about suffering on its head. When we suffer for Christ we are identifying with the death of Christ, glorifying God, being prepared for eternity and doing something that is absolutely necessary for the real-deal Christian.
Think about your life for a moment: Do you have the Holy Spirit living inside of you? Are you suffering in anyway for the sake of Christ? Are you willing to suffer for the sake of Christ?
If your answer to any of those questions is no, I invite you to repent of your sins and put your faith in Jesus Christ and be saved.
And if you'd like someone to pray with or to talk these things over with, I'd love for you to give me a call at 605-428-4111.