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The Daily Word of Righteousness
Suffering and Rulership, continued
Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life. (Revelation 2:10—NIV)
No person in America, including Christians, is living an easy life. The happy American is an image that exists only in the mind, promoted by the political party in power at the time. There are numerous very unhappy American Christians in our day. Are you one of them or has your life been a bed of roses?
The Scriptures teach us we must enter the Kingdom of God through much tribulation. The Christians have suffered greatly throughout history and still are suffering today.
The Christians who are called to rule with Jesus Christ will suffer in this world. This is because the suffering creates the character rulers must possess if they are to serve the Lord satisfactorily. Of special importance is the development of stern obedience to God in those who will judge and govern mankind and the angels. Character and obedience are not formed in us as we are carried to Heaven by grace and mercy.
Notice the following:
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. (Romans 8:17—NIV)
It seems plain enough from the above verse that if we hope to share in Christ's glory we must share in His sufferings. Christ and we are coming into our inheritance together. We shall enter His joy. We must also share His sufferings. He learned obedience through suffering. We must learn obedience through suffering. He was brought low and was despised by people. We also must be brought low and despised by people. He was rejected by the world. We must be rejected by the world. He was not of this world. We are not of this world. The world hated Him and it will hate us if we are living in intense interaction with Him.
In America today we are being taught that God intends to give Christians every material blessing, in fact that we will become so rich the world will have to borrow from us. What passage of the New Testament teaches this?
What is it going to take to bring us back to the Gospel of the Kingdom?
I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. (Romans 8:18—NIV)
God's Glory will be revealed to the nations through us, at the appearing of Christ and His saints. The glory and release of the earth will not come down as rain from Heaven but from the wells of water being created in those who are willing to accept God's dealings no matter how severe. The sufferings we are experiencing now are to prepare us to be the rivers of life that will bring eternal life to the dead sea of mankind.
We can endure all kinds of trials if we will keep our eye on the joy that will be ours when we are able to bring righteousness and peace to the peoples of the earth. We must set joy before us so we can keep in our minds and hearts that what we are enduring now is not to be compared with the incomprehensible glory we shall experience in the Day of Christ.
To be continued.