Here is a trustworthy saying:
If we died with Him, we will also live with Him;
If we endure, we will also reign with Him.
If we disown Him, He will also disown us;
If we are faithless, He remains faithful,
For He cannot deny Himself.
2 Timothy 2:11-13
I don’t like suffering – thinking about it, talking about it, much less actually suffering. But God’s Word pulls no punches.
There is much we must endure.
A friend’s business fails. A brother’s cancer returns. A sister loses her job. My child loses his hearing. Suffering is our daily reality in this sinful, broken world. Suffering must be a curse – the enemy.
Elisabeth Elliott turns my thoughts right-side up.
“Our vision is so limited we can hardly imagine a love that does not show itself in protection from suffering. The love of God is of a different nature altogether. It does not hate tragedy. It never denies reality. It stands in the very teeth of suffering. The love of God did not protect His own Son. The cross was the proof of His love – that He gave that Son, that He let Him go to Calvary’s cross, though ‘legions of angels’ might have rescued Him. He will not necessarily protect us – not from anything it takes to make us like His Son. A lot of hammering and chiseling and purifying by fire will have to go into the process.”
Did we really think that “take up your cross” meant wear a really pretty necklace?