Sharing in His Sufferings 9
Sharing in His Sufferings 9
When a man's ways are pleasing to the LORD, he makes even his enemies live at peace with him. (Proverbs 16:7—NIV)
Then we have the promise that if our ways please the Lord He will make even our enemies to be at peace with us.
And in addition:
"See, it is I who created the blacksmith who fans the coals into flame and forges a weapon fit for its work. And it is I who have created the destroyer to work havoc; no weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and this is their vindication from me," declares the LORD. (Isaiah 54:16,17—NIV)
We do not have to worry about our enemies. It is God who creates the destroyer and his ability to destroy. If we are found in God, how can we be harmed? God will never permit His own to be harmed, unless, as we have stated, He is bringing them to Himself through suffering.
Nor should we be overly disturbed concerning those who slander us. We do not have to rush about and defend ourselves. God will vindicate us.
We ought always to pray when people criticize us. Perhaps they are correct and we need to turn to God for help in changing. This is a good and constructive attitude on our part.
But after we are assured they are in error in their accusations, we can rest in God until He vindicates us. We do not have to worry about our reputation or our testimony. The Lord Jesus was slandered on many occasions. This is part of His sufferings that we are to share.
Resurrection life comes only from crucifixion. Let us join the Apostle Paul in seeking to experience the power of Christ's resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings.
Paul had suffered so much he had the sentence of death in himself such that he did not trust in himself but in God who raises the dead. Paul went from one source of pain to another, it appears. His life after his conversion was not an enviable one.
Yet Paul learned to rejoice when he was made weak, because then the strength of Christ took over and accomplished the tasks at hand.
Our adamic wisdom and life at their best are so very frail, so very incomplete. This is the way God has made us. It never was God's intention that the adamic race be permanent. Our first life is nothing more than an opportunity to surrender to God so the only true, eternal life, that which Christ is, can have another dwelling in which to be enlarged.
We are destined to be a life-giving spirit. This is the role of each member of the royal priesthood. We enter our destiny only to the extent we are willing to be brought down to death each day in order that we might be raised in eternal resurrection life.
Thus our sufferings in Christ, that which brings our natural life down to weakness and death, are the only means to what we desire above all else—to live in Christ in eternal love, joy, and peace. (from Sharing in His Sufferings)
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