I was reading a book entitled, “The Bible Promise Book for Women”, it’s sort of like a devotional or rather a reference book for the challenges that we will face in life. In this book the author compiled scriptures that apply to each topic which is the strength I rely on when going through difficult times.
In the topic of adversity I came across a scripture I was familiar with but never looked at it like this before. The scripture is 2 Timothy 2:12 “If we suffer we shall also reign with him.” If you are not familiar, Paul is referring to a saying but it connotates that Jesus Christ bore what he faced, and in so doing, became the perfect example of what it was like to overcome life’s troubles.
2 Timothy 2:11-13 ” This is the saying; for if we died with Him we shall also live with Him. If we endure; we shall also reign with Him. If we deny Him, He also will deny us. If we are faithless, he remains faithful; he cannot deny Himself.”
In this manner, when it says endure it connotates that we suffer with Christ and to suffer with Christ means to be connected to someone who has come through what we have come through and received victory over it. Jesus stated that if we are to follow him we should take up our crosses daily and follow him. The cross represents a place of shame and humiliation or any disgraceful place in your life because that’s what Christ himself was crucified for.
Luke 9:23-24 Then He said to them all, ” If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take u his cross daily and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it.”
Those areas are healed internally by the crucifixion of our own life, forsaking that which is natural for us to do, escaping, and in turn helping us to bear it in order that his glory might shine in those moments. Life has a way of stripping the integrity and dignity of a person by way of persecution, slander, and the like making you believe that your suffering is because of Christ and that forsaking Him would bring you more peace. However, the opposite is true because Isaiah 53:5 says that the chastisement of our peace was upon Him, so what we need to bring us into a realm of peace is the one that we may be tempted to forsake because of the troubles we face in life.
Isaiah 53:5 ” But He was wounded for our transgressions He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by his stripes we are healed.”
Truth be told we were already destined to experience the struggles we face but having access to Jesus Christ made those moments more bearable. Jesus Christ is not an imaginary, mystical man, made up for the sake of governing people. At least that is what others might have us to believe, but rather He is the son of God, born of the Spirit to help strengthen our inward man when we get weak, among a multitude of other benefits.
So to suffer “with” Christ is to endure life’s problems with Him on your side, knowing that the battles you face have been nailed to your own personal cross, that through you others might be healed too. Our suffering is not because of Jesus Christ, it’s a by-product of living but when we apply His principles to our own suffering the way of escape is discovered and we then come to realize that we were equipped to bear the unbearable.
If you have not decided to accept Jesus Christ as your personal Savior all you have to do is believe in your heart and confess with your mouth that Jesus Christ is the son of God and that He died to redeem your life. Just ay these words our loud, ” Lord I believe that your son Jesus Christ died to save my life and I accept Him as my personal Savior.” You are now apart of the family of God and given the opportunity to utilize the benefits in Him but you must connect with a local church in order to learn more about the decision you just made and the gifts that we have as believers in Him.