Why the long face?

Romans 8:17b

…But if we are to share His glory, we must also share His suffering

NKJV

When I think of the hardships in my life, past and present, it is human nature to think “why me?” “Why is my life so hard?”

However, in spite of these hardships, I cannot confess to know what true hardship is.

And that is the point, for so long we have sat in our own chaotic lives like a child sits in its own mess, that we have learnt to only focus on ourselves.

Our attention to our chaos results in tunnel vision: all we see is problem after problem that we become desensitised to seeing the good that exists in our lives.

We also become desensitised to the suffering of others.

i.e. An advert of starving children in other nations elicits a flick of the remote. (At most, a sympathetic sigh proceeded by a mental countdown till when it is morally acceptable to continue with our regular schedule)

God is changing my attitude towards a lot of things.

Previously, if I had read that scripture I would have internally objected to having to suffer because that was Jesus’ job. Feelings of guilt and condemnation would have immediately followed.

It sounds harsh but it is a truth that I am now not afraid to admit, as I was afraid to think it. Why? Because just like then and right now, God already knows my thoughts before I even form them.

Today, I read the scripture in the midst of chaos but now I am drawn and open to the verse that says if I want to share in His glory then I must also share in His suffering. It makes sense to me in my heart. How much so, God is working on it. I do not have to beat myself over that.

When I read the verse it speaks to me on the fact that we are so quick to call on God to ask for blessings in the name of Jesus: whose death is the only reason why we can even approach The Father. We ask for perfect health, financial freedom, release from bondage, a new house, a new car, a husband, a wife, joy, peace etc. The point is that we ask, ask and ask.

God says, “[a]sk, and it will be given to you “(Matthew 7:7). I am not saying that we should stop asking. But a life of asking can also make us desensitised to the suffering that preceded our ability to boldly come to the throne of grace and ask.

Hebrews 4:16

Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

NKJV

This throne of grace, where Jesus, who is Grace, is sitting on the right hand side of God.

So it is easy to get swept up by the truth that we have access to glory.

 Romans 8:17a

And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory.

(NLT)

I love that I am an heir of God’s glory because I am His precious child. It gives me joy, makes me feel secure and that is glorious in itself.

But as I go through hardships, when I read that we must also share His suffering, I see the validity of these hardships.

I particularly draw strength on the truth that God uses our weakness for strengths so that we may glorify His name.

But in the scripture, I am not looking for hope that me sharing in His suffering will bring me strength or joy one day. I am focused on Him. That my hardships connect me to Him in a different way. A connection that is not based on what I will receive.

Upon all this talk of suffering, our suffering is nothing compared to the glory He will reveal to us later.

Romans 8: 18

“Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory He will reveal to us later.”

NLT

Our suffering is nothing compared to the suffering of Jesus Christ at the Cross. Yet upon all our shortcomings, He still extends His Grace and allows us to feel connected to a suffering we will never know or experience the full weight of.

The result is that we feel closer to Him and I choose to believe that He is just fine with that.

 

Message me your thoughts on  hardships.

 

 

In my search for an image for this post, I came across Matt More’s Blog post on Peace. It was a great read. In the post he writes about how he became fearful that God would help him in the midst of changing professions. This fear was linked to not having received any formal education. Yet, his writing in that one post was so captivating and eloquent! Check it out.

Today’s image is from BiblePlace.com

 

 

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