I needed to retrain my mind and the ideas I personally had concerning love so that I could understand suffering for Christ as a benefit and not a loss. When I was growing up, I was completely drawn to the idea of love. I had a bent in my heart towards being kind, patient, and forgiving towards others.
With that said, I didn’t yet understand the true meaning of charity. And because of my lack of understanding, when it came to suffering, I very often mistook my difficult circumstances as wrong or damaging. In actuality, because I served God who is complete and total love, I was actually being transformed into the image of Christ!
Scripture tells us that God is love (1 John 4). Because the very nature of God is love, we can know that as His children, we are fully loved by Him. He loves us, He gave His son, Jesus, to die for us so that we would be reconciled back to Him. & then He gave us the gift of the Holy Spirit on this earth!
Part of the ministry of the Holy Spirit is the sanctification of the saints. It is by the power of the Holy Spirit that our redemption, through Christ from cavalry, is able to be worked into our lives in a way that makes us completely new, inside and out.
As we endure suffering, the Holy Spirit works the character of Christ into our very being! This is what makes long-suffering worth it—when we surrender our situations and circumstances to the Lord, He then draws out of us what needs to be drawn out.
My friend, I want you to take a moment and consider the last time you endured suffering. What was the posture of your heart? How did you respond to the people and things in your circumstances?
Did you respond by faith instead of sight?
Was the fruit of the Holy Spirit prevalent in how you navigated the season?
Suffering is so important because when we’re going through trials and tribulations of different kinds, we are really able to see how Christ-like we actually are vs. how we claim to be.
Suffering to become transformed more into the image of Christ is something we can truly rejoice in. It is a gift because we have the hope that what the Lord is doing in our hearts is making us like Him.
This truth should overshadow whatever sufferings you’ve gone through, or are currently walking through right now. Christ who is on the inside of you is perfecting who you are in Him, and it is such a beautiful journey if we surrender to the work of the Holy Spirit.