New Zealand is famous for fish. Big… beautiful… difficult to catch… FISH!! If you know me, and you know New Zealand, then you know I could not resist packing my fly rod (on my bike) across this fish-laden country…
As much as I love catching fish, I love that Jesus has called us to be “fishers of men.” I love sharing Jesus with people, and every day of this trip the Holy Spirit has given me the privilege and opportunity to talk with people about the beauty of Jesus Christ and what He has done for me and what He can do for them.
Just yesterday, I had a wonderful conversation about the good news of Jesus Christ with a New Zealander. The conversation turned to how suffering is used by God for our good. As Romans 8:16-17 states, “The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.”
We tend to think suffering is always bad. And sometimes, it is. But it does have significant redeeming qualities! Because of Christ’s suffering, we are called children of God, if we trust in His sacrificial life and death. And yet these verses call us to be willing to suffer with Him.
Are you willing to suffer with Him? In this life, I have faced suffering for His name’s sake, as well because of what life in a fallen world has thrown at me. But the times when I have seen Him redeem my suffering for the sake of shaping me spiritually, are the times that I have experienced suffering with Him – He with me and I with Him.
One day, Jesus will make all things right and new. Suffering will be no more. And we will be fully complete in Him. So when you suffer in the now, are you willing to suffer with Him in your everyday sufferings? Are you willing to open your mouth, declare the good news of Jesus Christ, and potentially suffer for His name’s sake? The promise is that every painful moment will be ultimately worth it as we are glorified with Him.