Romans 8:16-18 - The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heir—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
To go along with yesterday's blog... This week this scripture was made painfully real.
A very dear friend was given the prognosis of cancer. I know we may never be fully prepared for this type of news. We just never know what the next day will hold. It not only affects her, her loving family, but friends who love her also. At the same time, we can know who holds us in His loving hands. We can be in prayer and supplication to God for her. He is a wonder working God. There are times, though, where words are hard to come by, but, man, tears are too easy.
So you delve into His Word or the Holy Spirit brings to mind, like He so often will, scriptures of encouragement, comfort, peace...and sometimes hard facts. His truth is not always easy.
While we who have received Christ understand who we have become in Him, we don't usually dwell on the issues of hardships we will still encounter in this sinful world. We basically know it comes with the territory. We still live in this world. (I have to admit for just a second an anger rose up in me for the transgression way back in the garden, for which I swallowed hard and wondered if I needed to ask forgiveness...I did just in case.)
The scripture above tells the hard truth like it is...if Christ had to suffer, so will we. It might be persecution, rejection, sneering or scoffing for our beliefs...or a dreaded illness or personal trial, prison or heartache we endure.
But look at His outcome! He is risen from the grave and glorified! If we are in Christ and holding to our faith and trusting in Him, we will also be raised up and glorified. Until then we believe He will stand by us. We trust in Him alone even if we do not sense His presence. He has told us He will never leave us or forsake us...if we are in Him.
We are told this life we live is only temporary. The average lifespan is about 80 years. Some more, some less. Some won't believe this: Where we go after we die is our choice. If we choose Christ we will live and reign with Him in glory. If we do not choose Him we suffer the rest of time in eternal destruction: ...those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power...(2Thessalonians 1:8-9)
Jesus Christ will receive anyone whose desire is for Him. He's not a tyrant and we are not His puppets. When we know Him we learn truth and that changes how we see Him and any errant thoughts we might have. We are not under some spell, rather free from the spell of lies of the world. Joint heirs of promise and temporary suffering. Thankful for His hand of mercy and grace.
John 10:29 - My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand.