Â Â Â Â Singer Lynn Anderson had a hit song titled â€œI Never Promised You a Rose Garden.â€Â I think we can agree that as Christians we are surely not living in a rose garden.Â This worldly garden is filled with thorns and thistles – trials and tribulations.Â There are a few spiritual roses but many more prickly plants.Â There is a â€œrosyâ€ ending but it follows a time of thistles and thorns.
Â Â Â Â Paul tells us that as children of God we are joint-heirs with Christ.Â Wonderful!Â But then he qualifies our heirship with these words, â€œ…if so be we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.â€Â Romans 8:17. â€œFor unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake.â€Â Philippians 1:29. The path to heirship with Christ is righteous suffering in the fashion He suffered.
Â Â Â Â Â The Bible clearly and repeatedly sets forth that God has ordained for Christians to suffer righteously â€“ to suffer for their faith.Â Knowing that, we Christians should be willing to suffer for righteousness’ sake because it is God’s ordained path to becoming a joint-heir with Jesus Christ.Â No worldly inheritance can compare to that.
Â Â Â Â Â There is a rosy (promising) end to the suffering path to Christ.Â Christians will receive incomparable recompense (payment, reward) for their suffering.Â â€œFor I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which be revealed in us.â€Â Romans 8:18. The eternal glory bestowed upon us will far outweigh any suffering we endure on the righteous path.Â Glory beyond compare!Â Â Â Â
Â Â Â Â Paul told the Corinthian Christians, â€œFor our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.Â II Corinthans 4:17. Compared to the amount of glory which will be bestowed upon us in heaven the trials and afflictions we endure on the righteous path will seem minimal, insignificant.
Â Â Â Â Peter had this to say about our sufferings.Â â€œBut 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.â€Â I Peter 4:13. For experiencing sufferings as Christ did we will burst with joy as never before when Christ is revealed in His glory.Â No earthly glory can compare to this heavenly glory.Â
Â Â Â Â The chorus to the song â€œWhen We See Christâ€ sings, â€œIt will be worth it all when we see Jesus, Life’s trials will seem so small when we see Christ.â€Â That thought is too great to imagine.Â No sight in this life can compare to the sighting of our Savior, Jesus Christ.Â
Â Â Â Â DEAR GOD, HELP US TO REMEMBER THAT NOTHING THAT HAPPENS IN THIS LIFE, GOOD OR BAD, COMPARES TO WHAT AWAITS US WHEN WE MEET CHRIST.