Bible Society of South Africa

Sharing in Christ’s suffering, sharing in his glory – 18 October 2022

By Ewald Schmidt

Bible text(s)

17Since we are his children, we will possess the blessings he keeps for his people, and we will also possess with Christ what God has kept for him; for if we share Christ's suffering, we will also share his glory.

Romans 8:17GNBOpen in Bible reader

By faith, we are the children of God – princes and princesses in our Father’s kingdom. Therefore, some will say, we can never be poor or sick. We should only have a life of prosperity if our faith is strong, because God is our Father! Then, the hard reality of life soon strikes us too. Sometimes, I also know suffering in my life! Even though I believe that Jesus’ wounds brought life and healing for me, I still get ill. It remains a debatable point – how can a child of God still suffer in this life? Is it only when my faith is weak that I am so beaten up by the evil one?

Through faith we are “in Christ”, bound to our Lord, Jesus Christ. We are his disciples. His command is to follow him! He has prepared us for the road, which would be narrow, to his Father’s kingdom (Matthew 7:14). We have to consider that discipleship means to take up our own crosses, signing away our old lives to follow him (Mark 8:34-35). Jesus left us under no illusion; to follow him will be a difficult journey, a path of denying our own desires. “As it goes with the Master, so it will with the pupil,” he said.

Our life on earth is a mission of service to God and our fellow man. True discipleship follows in Jesus’ footsteps, our Master, who was not above washing the feet of his followers in John 13. We share in the calling to sacrifice our own lives to be a light to the world, making a difference in the darkness around us. The heart of a disciple is filled with the desire to serve. It is not easy, but we follow the example set by Christ.

Paul reminds us, today, that we share in the suffering of Christ. He calls us heirs of God. To be an heir, someone has to die first, leaving behind a legacy. Christ has died that required death in our place. The inheritance he has left us is the right to be God’s children by faith and eternal life for those who believe. Our greatest joy is, although Christ died for us, he rose again, to share the new life with us. His death has mended the broken relationship with God and his resurrection has opened the gates of heaven for us. We are bound to his death by faith and we share in his suffering in this life, the price of being obedient to God. Because we are bound to his death, we are also bound to his resurrection. The glory he has received by his obedience on the cross, he gladly shares with us. We will overcome death; we will be with him at his Father’s house for eternity. We have a wonderful future to cling onto when times are tough. Christ in us is our hope for glory. My future is secure in him!

Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you that I am bound to you by faith. I share in your suffering in this world and it does not always make sense to me. However, one day I will understand when I see the glory you have prepared for me. Nothing can keep me away from my eternal inheritance you have given me. Amen

Bible Society of South Africav.4.18.10
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