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The Present Sufferings Versus the Future Glory
Stats: 3,264 words / Reading Time: 16.32 mins

Published: Monday, 21st June 2021

By: Obayomi Abiola Benjamin

The Present Sufferings Versus the Future Glory is read 388 times on CentreNDL.org 388
  

THE PRESENT SUFFERINGS VERSUS THE FUTURE GLORY

Understanding Christ Sufferings and What Qualifies us for the Glory


Listen To Podcast: THE PRESENT SUFFERINGS VERSUS THE FUTURE GLORY

I want us to start our meditation by opening our Bibles to the book of Romans 8:18. The apostle Paul wrote: “For I consider…” to consider means: to ponder upon, to think about, to contemplate, to deliberate about a matter. If you read this particular phrase in the Amplified version, it shows us as Christians what makes our consideration different from the consideration of unbelievers. It says: For I consider [from the standpoint of faith]. So, irrespective of what we are going through, whether palatable or unpalatable, we consider it from the standpoint of faith. Whether you would see God in your situation or not would be determined from the standpoint you are viewing it from.

I heard the story of a particular woman of God in the United States recently who was diagnosed with cancer about 23 years ago. And a number of people were curious about how she was able to pull through this long, despite being told that it was cancer and how she was able to manage her health situation not visiting the hospital or seeing the doctors. And she said to the people who were curious that when she was told that she had cancer, she never considered it from the standpoint of doctor’s report, and most importantly, she never admits to herself that she has cancer. In other words, her object of consideration was not the report, but faith in God. And till now, she is still alive, basking in the Lord at a very good old age.

Let us read further: “that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” We have in the world today believers who want to enjoy all that the glory of Christ represents but who are not willing to pay the price. One thing we must never forget that qualifies us to partake of Christ’s glory, is Christ’s sufferings. In Luke 22:28-30, Jesus said to His disciples: “But you are those who have continued with Me in My trials. 29 And I bestow upon you a kingdom, just as My Father bestowed one upon Me, 30 that you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”

Notice Jesus didn’t say He bestow a kingdom on them simply because they followed, because many people followed Christ in His days, but not all of them suffered with Him. He said they had been with Him through his trials, through thick and thin, through His many ordeals, in the hands of the Pharisees and the Sadducees and all those who stood against His ministry. And so, the reward for them staying through till the end was that a kingdom was bestowed on them. So, they were partakers of Christ’s trials and they also were partakers of the glory that was followed.

Even though being a believer qualifies us for a beautiful life here and after, however, being a believer does not immune us against partaking in Christ’s sufferings. Now, there is a difference between just suffering and suffering for Christ’s sake. Partaking in Christ’s sufferings is what qualifies us for the glory ahead, and not just some random sufferings. It is possible for people to suffer without any promise of glory. The question we could ask is: what are the sufferings of Christ and what qualifies us to take part in this suffering?

The sufferings of Christ detailed all that Christ had to endure in the process of reconciling us back to God. Christ didn’t suffer because of any wrong He did or any sin He committed. But He suffered so that you and I can be reconciled back to God and have a free access to Him. He became our mediator between God and us. Now let us read 1 Peter 2:21-25 to buttress this point. The Bible says:

For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps…” Now look at it this way: if Christ suffered for our sake, leaving for us an example that we should follow in His steps, where then do we get this idea from that Christianity is all bed of roses, and that we can enjoy in Christ’s glory haven escaped this critical phase of our Christian walk? 22 “Who committed no sin, nor was deceit found in His mouth”; 23 who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously; 24 who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed. 25 For you were like sheep going astray, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.

 

The Different Stages of Christ’s Sufferings and The Glories That Was Revealed

#1. Christ suffered bearing upon Himself the sins of the world so that He could bring us back to God. 1 Peter 3:18 says: “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit.” You see, we need to understand the importance of this. Christ was the ‘just’ man, we were the ‘unjust’. But Christ took our place so that we can become the just and Himself, the unjust. That is why Romans 5:1 shows us: “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” So, our justification is of Christ and that was what restored us back to God.

#2. Christ redeemed us from every curse of the law by becoming a curse for us. Galatians 3:13-14 says: Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”), 14 that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. Now it is important we understand what the curse of the law is in order to appreciate what Christ suffered on our behalf. Under the law, man struggles to make himself right with God. Now, each time he struggles, he stumbles and fall in many other areas and heaps upon himself the consequences of breaking the law because by not keeping the law, man attracts a curse unto himself.

In Deuteronomy 27:26, the Bible says: “Cursed is the one who does not confirm all the words of this law by observing them. And all the people shall say, ‘amen!’” But it was impossible for man to attract any blessing of God upon himself because each time he tries to keep the law and he faulters in one of them, he is as good as he has failed in keeping all the law. So, in order for this not to continue, God needed to do something, and what He did was found in Romans 3:21-26:

But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, 22 even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, 26 to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

#3. Christ died for all. This was the ultimate suffering and the final price that Christ had to pay for mankind. The interesting part is that Christ didn’t just die for the believers alone, He also died for the unbelieving world. He could have chosen not to die for us, but He still did it anyway. 2 Corinthians 5:14-15 says: For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; 15 and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.So, Christ died for us so that we can be partakers of the glory of the life that He would reveal in us.

 

What Qualifies Us to Take Part in Christ’s Sufferings?

#1. Christ’s Glory! If we are ever going to be part of His glory, then we must be willing to be part of His sufferings as well.

Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; 13 but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. 14 If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part, He is glorified.

1 Peter 4:12-14

#2. The Knowledge of Christ! Knowing Christ means know everything that Christ stood for. The challenge is that many of us want to choose the part of Christ that suits us and dump the other side. The knowledge of Christ is a rounded knowledge and Paul gave us a description of what it means to know Christ in all its ramifications.

That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, 11 if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.

And I continually long to know the wonders of Jesus and to experience the overflowing power of his resurrection working in me. I will be one with him in his sufferings and become like him in his death. 11 Only then will I be able to experience complete oneness with him in his resurrection from the realm of death.

Philippians 3:10-11

#3. Because We are His Body! As a member of the body of Christ, we will suffer affliction and persecution for the sake of Christ. In Colossians 1:24, Paul said: I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ, for the sake of His body, which is the church.” Also, in 1 Peter 4:15-16 that we read earlier, Peter said: But let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or as a busybody in other people’s matters. 16 Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter.

#4. Because We Want to Reign with Him! If we will ever reign with Christ, then we must be ready to endure in His sufferings. 2 Timothy 2:11-13 says: “This is a faithful saying: for if we died with Him, we shall also live with Him. If we endure, we shall also reign with Him. If we deny Him, He also will deny us. If we are faithless, He remains faithful, He cannot deny Himself.”

 

Story of the Filming of The Passion of the Christ

During the filming of The Passion of the Christ, Jim Caviezel (the man who played Jesus) lost 45 pounds, he was struck by lightning, he was accidentally scourged with a whip twice, leaving a 14-inch scar, he had his shoulder dislocated, and suffered from pneumonia and hypothermia from hanging mostly naked on a cross for several hours outside. His body was so stressed and exhausted from playing the role that he had to have 2 open heart surgeries after the production! The crucifixion scene alone took 5 weeks of the 2-month filming time.

Now, you have seen the suffering of one man in the flesh trying to play the role of Jesus Christ to us in a movie, now see the glory that follows!

The Passion of the Christ is the highest-grossing rated-R movie in the United States, of all time, at $370.8M! And worldwide, it grossed $611M. most importantly, the movie reached many souls around the world. Mel Gibson paid $30M out of his own pocket for the production because no studio would take on the project, and Jim Caviezel was warned not to take the role of Jesus because it would ruin his career. Today, Jim Caviezel proudly proclaims his faith in Christ amidst the godlessness of Hollywood.

Now, the point of the story is this: see the suffering that one man went through in order to portray Christ Jesus in a movie. At the time the movie was being shot, the sufferings were unbearable, he could have chosen to pull out of the project and give up. But see the glory that followed. That is why the Bible says in Hebrews 12:2 that: looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

There is a glory ahead, and there is no wat we would be qualified for this glory if we are not going to be partakers of Christ’s sufferings. This is what qualifies us for the glory and nothing else, I pray that the Lord would help us in Jesus’s name.


Thanks for the gift of your time, We are Obayomi Abiola Benjamin and Lara Gboyega Adedeji!

Feel free to share your thoughts or testimony in the comment box below. I promise to respond to them as soon as possible!


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Word of Confession: (Optional)

Lord Jesus, I confess to you that I have sinned against the LORD God - in the rebellion of my heart, I have disappointed your expectations on my life. I have fallen from Your grace and followed wrong influences around me. Today, I retrace my steps back to you - and I ask that in your mercy you accept me as your son and give to me (again) the promise of the Father - the Holy Spirit. Lord Jesus, please, come and make my heart your home, and from there rule in the affairs of all men. In Jesus Name I have prayed.



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Obayomi Abiola Benjamin


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I am Abiola Benjamin Obayomi, a disciple of Jesus Christ, with a drive to mentor young believers into spiritual maturity. I am a student of God's word and a teacher as well, with passion in the areas of relationship & spiritual development. I am a worshipper, an ardent lover and follower of the Lord Christ.


Lara Gboyega Adedeji


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I am a Woman of God's Purpose in Nigeria. I Coach Women in Leadership for true National Emancipation. I am a Spiritual Identity Mentor & ED, Flickers of Hope Foundation, Abuja-Nigeria!



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