How do you suppose you will be prepared for kingship? What would make you solemn, wise, faithful, and proven? Do you think that the stresses of dealing with the neighbor’s dog will qualify you to rule the heavens? Will the intense pain of a rainy vacation, or a harsh word, prepare you for eternal glory and honor? Are warriors made strong, do they become immovable, by a burned meatloaf? If you spend your time shopping, buying new cars and clothes, will this develop in you the judgment required to command the creation? Will you be processed into spiritual maturity by worldly blessing and ease? No, none of these. Jesus was made perfect through suffering, and the same applies to you.
When suffering comes into your day, treat it as the secret entrance to life itself. Stop dwelling on the pain of your trials; rather, focus on the result. The best and grandest things of God will come to you as a result of earthly trauma. Paul learned this and began to place great value in his suffering. He found that earthly travail was the producer of unspeakable, heavenly glory. I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, such an one caught up to the third heaven. How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter. Of such an one will I glory: yet of myself I will not glory, but in mine infirmities.
In the resurrection, no man will boast of his own works, for they will all have been destroyed. That no flesh should glory in his presence. Therefore the sons of men are counted as sheep to the slaughter. You are troubled, ill, heartbroken, terrified, and slandered. Successfully negotiating these trials is your ticket to immortality. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
When onslaughts of undeserved suffering trample your life, you have been selected to receive the permanent treasures of God. When hellish hordes of surreal agony appear, take heart, you are about to be made perfect. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you. Godly suffering is a windfall of advantage. Resurrection, perfection, immortality, and Godlikeness are its sure and certain rewards. The God of all grace, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.
The Mind of Christ will come to you, riding astride the worst experience of your life. By “krisis” and “metanoia,” through travail, from evil to good unto life, suffering is God’s plan for your glory. Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. Suffering is a special washing, that signals your acceptance for the anointing of “Christ.” Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me.
To conquer suffering you must see beyond the physical circumstances of your misery. While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal. If you see only the facts of your problem, your pain will never subside and your suffering will continue indefinitely. The physical evidence of carnal evil is never going to change. Your hurt is not going to magically disappear. It is your thinking, your vision, your understanding of the situation that is going to change. Gaining the Mind of Christ, you must look beyond the distressing facts and see the supernatural purpose of God. Whatever the problem that has engulfed you, there is more going on than meets the eye, and the end is never in doubt. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.
One day, after you have proven yourself faithful, your torment will heal. Then your big problem, even your worst nightmare, will change to a priceless possession. The hand picked, polished pain of the Most High will become nought but a small scar. This scar you will consider a treasure, a diadem, the assurance of God’s personal attention leading you into life eternal. From henceforth let no man trouble me: for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus. Your experience in suffering will become a trophy that transcends the earthly riches of mortals, a crown that no man can take from you. I am filled with comfort, I am exceeding joyful in all our tribulation. Your trial will become a source of comfort, even amidst the agony of ashes. When they had called the apostles, and beaten them, … they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.
Jesus was made like unto his earthly brethren, and now they are to be made like unto him. He endured the contradiction of sinners, and so will his brothers. Christ is this group of individuals; it is the firstborn brothers of Jesus. Christ is the firstfruits of Israel; it is the firstborn Sons of God. Each of them will be made perfect through suffering. O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?
By suffering for sin in them, they will be separated from “evil” and attain to the hearing of Salvation. Then by the suffering of sin against them, they will be separated from earthly “good,” and attain to the seeing of Sonship. Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.
“Christ in you,” is not some ethereal mushy doctrine of Organized Religion. It is not a word game. Rather, it is your opportunity to share in the power and immortality of God. “Christ” is the anointing and substance of Sonship that Jesus possesses. The Body of Christ is the initial cadre of his brothers. It is the anointed company of the firstborn Sons of God. They will become what Jesus Christ now is. And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
All the Sons of God will be spiritually begotten of God, and like Jesus, will be made perfect through suffering. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? As heavenly rulers it is essential that these Sons possess a personal knowledge of pain and suffering, for these will become tools of their new vocation. With their experience in earthly travail they will govern the cosmos, applying the same beneficent wisdom that made them what they are. They shall comfort you, when ye see their ways and their doings: and ye shall know that I have not done without cause all that I have done in it, saith the Lord GOD.
Now give account of yourself, and declare if you have understanding. Considering the prize, what sorrow is there that you cannot endure? What pain may arise that you cannot bear? What affliction can drive you from the love of your Heavenly Father? What trial or betrayal is so unfair, that you would curse his judgment? What is there that glitters more brightly than Christ? What cross is not worth that begotten splendor? Your trials are your escort to the Mind of Christ, and that mind is your passport to the stars. Your travail portends your glorification.
If you have already experienced these things, rejoice, for in due time you shall reap your reward. If you cannot yet identify with these concepts, then memorize these words now, for it is hard to read when your eyes are swollen with tears. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.