2 TI 2.12 if we endure, we will also reign with him?
Endurance is critical to the Christian life.? We must endure, because God has ordained that it takes time to form the character of Christ in us.? It takes time for the Spirit to produce his fruit in us.? And it takes time for us to put do death our remaining sin.
Charles Simeon was opposed and persecuted for 49 years in his pastorate at Holy Trinity in Cambridge.? At age 71, his friend Joseph Gurney asked him how he had endured all those years of suffering.? He answered:
?My dear brother, we must not mind a little suffering for Christ?s sake.? When I am getting through a hedge, if my head and shoulders are safely through, I can bear the pricking of my legs.? Let us rejoice in the remembrance that our holy Head has surmounted all His suffering and triumphed over death.? Let us follow Him patiently; we shall soon be partakers of His victory.? *
We must not mind a little suffering, because in the end we will be transformed into the image of Christ, free from sin, filled with the fruit of the Spirit, sanctified, purified, glorified, a spotless bride, prepared to gaze on the face of Christ.? No one in heaven will regret one second of suffering endured for Christ.? We?ll say the pain we endured was but momentary and slight compared to the eternal weight of glory it prepared for us in heaven.? We?ll say it would be worth enduring a thousand lifetimes of suffering for all the joy we?ll experience forever in Jesus? presence.
We must not mind a little suffering.? We?ll soon be partakers of Christ?s victory.
*From H.C.G.? Moule, Charles Simeon, quoted by John Piper in, “Thoughts at 60 on Third Campus Thrills and 1 Corinthians 15:58”
photo by Hair-Flick