Friday, April 6, 2007

Sufferings in Light of the Cross

Charles Spurgeon said, "He does take the curse of the cross, but He does not take the cross of the curse away from you. Remember that and expect to suffer." This statement is not unfounded. In fact, in John 16:33 Jesus promises this to us, "In the world you WILL have tribulation." We are assured of the fact that in a fallen world we will suffer. But we are not left at that (the word "but" in the Bible is one of my most favorite words).

In light of this suffering I would like to bring forth three encouraging points that I stole from one of Spurgeons many compilations.

1. It is not your cross, but Christ's cross that we carry.
When we face persecution for our faith we do so because of what the Savior accomplished on our behalf. Christ has lead the way in our sufferings and it is encouraging to note that the Cross that He carried, is the very same cross that we carry today. "How delightful is it to carry the cross of our Lord Jesus?"

2. You carry the cross after Him.
"You have blessed company. Your path is marked with footprints of your Lord. If you will look, there is the mark of His blood red shoulder upon that heavy cross. 'Tis His cross, and He goes before you as a shepherd goes before his sheep. Take up your cross daily and follow Him." What a wonderful leader our Savior is! We can rest assured that the agonies we face have allready been borne in full as well as in perfection. We should strive to conduct ourselves as the Son of God did in His glorious persecution.

3. You bear this cross in partnership
We are not alone. The beauty of the church is that we all beat as one. When one member is troubled, we all share his burden. Because of Christ we bear with one another in encouragement and edification. When one falls they are picked up, when one is persecuted we all are persecuted, when one faces hardship we walk with him as Christ walks with us.

Let Spurgeons words be an encouragement to you, "Dear Friend, if you think that you suffer all that a Christian can suffer, if all God's billows roll over you, yet remember, there is not one drop of wrath in all your sea of sorrow. Jesus took the wrath. Jesus carried the sin. Now all that you endure is but for His sake, that you may be conformed in his image and may aid in gathering His people into His family."

Christianty is the only religion where we can bear our tribulation with joy and gladness. Nothing else offers satisfaction and comforts the soul as does Christ. Our sufferings are temporary and by the hand of God we will one day be brought into His marvelous light and "He will wipe away every tear from [our] eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away" (Revelation 21:4).

Spurgeon, Charles H. and Lance Wubbels, ed. "The Power of the Cross of Christ." Lynwood, WA. Emerald Books, 1995

-Kyle Glick-


Kevin Glick said...

Ahhhhh.... Words of wisdom from Charles and Kyle. Thanks for the reminder that we suffer after, with, and for Chirst. If any of this was dependant upon me, how miserbly I would fail.

amber said...

"Christianty is the only religion where we can bear our tribulation with joy and gladness."

If that doesn't set Christianity apart, I don't know what will.

amber said...

*ammendment to above comment*

"If that doesn't set Christianity apart, I don't know what will." After the miracle of salvation, that is...

CJ says that after salvation, there is no greater miracle than a believer who rejoices in suffering.