“I lay down my life, no one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again.” John 10:18
The suffering of Jesus is what connected us to the Father. Through the suffering of Jesus, the active power of the Holy Spirit agented our salvation and connected us to God the Father. If that is what initially united us to the Father, what do you think most powerfully joins us to Him today? The same active power inside of the sufferings of Christ is also pregnant inside of our present and coming afflictions. God is ready to release power through our suffering to make us more like Christ and bring glory to Him. Suffering makes possible both a powerful relationship and experience with God if we let Him have it. If we keep it for ourselves, seek to avoid it, or solve our suffering with Christless solutions, we will miss the power of this ultimate fellowship of God.
Do you want to feel more united to God right now, brother? Do the hard things that will make you wince. Do it for God. Do it wherever the holy discomfort lies. You will feel the brotherhood in a more profound way than yesterday. This is the yell of the heart for every true God’s man. Suffering pierces through the mystery of God and unites you to Him. More important, it qualifies you to lead in His Kingdom work.
No man wants to suffer, but God’s man does not fear it because it unites him to his King. That is why we must lay down our own comforts, safeties, predictabilities, sureties, insecurities, fears, and prideful stances. Then we must pick up our crosses to experience God’s ultimate vision for us. The what, where, when, why, and who is locked inside God’s mind alone, and it will come to life as you willingly subject yourself to His way, in His time.
Father, Thank you for teaching me about the contrasts of love.