Ola Ilori (29 May 2016)

Suffering is a requirement for being fully glorified. That's why the Lord spent six gruesome hours on the cross.

"Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?Ē [Luke 24:26]

We're not exempt from suffering either, if we want to our bodies to be fully glorified when the Lord comes. The suffering we must all undergo in this present age is the suffering of self denial in order to manifest the life of Christ. This is the equivalent of nailing ourselves to the cross. That's why the Lord said:

ďIf anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up 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." [Luke 9:23,24]

The suffering of rejecting sin day in day out to live a holy life as we wait for our bodies to be glorified, is what Paul was referring to when he said:

"I donít think the sufferings we are going through now are even worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed to us in the future. The creation waits eagerly for the sons of God to be revealed; for the creation was made subject to frustration ó not willingly, but because of the one who subjected it. But it was given a reliable hope that it too would be set free from its bondage to decay and would enjoy the freedom accompanying the glory that Godís children will have." 

"We know that until now, the whole creation has been groaning as with the pains of childbirth; and not only it, but we ourselves, who have the first-fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we continue waiting eagerly to be made sons ó that is, to have our whole bodies redeemed and set free. It was in this hope that we were saved." 

"But if we see what we hope for, it isnít hope ó after all, who hopes for what he already sees? But if we continue hoping for something we donít see, then we still wait eagerly for it, with perseverance." [Rom.8:18-25]

Those of us who are persevering in practicing righteousness now, will be exempt from the time of trial that is coming upon the whole World. This is what the Lord Jesus Christ Himself taught us:

"Because you did obey my message about persevering, I will keep you from the time of trial coming upon the whole world to put the people living on earth to the test. I am coming soon; hold on to what you have, so that no one will take away your crown." [Rev.3:10,11]

Christians who are now choosing to give in to the works of the flesh will go through the time of trial.

"Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God." 

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christís have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires." [Gal.5:19-24]