“The Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.” Luke 9:22 (NRSV)
Jesus’ friends must have been greatly confused when they heard this statement. What foolish words was He saying? Why would anyone want to kill Jesus they must have wondered? But suffer He did. And so would they. And so will we. For while we live we will always be given up to death for Jesus’ sake, so that His life may be visible within us (2 Corinthians 4:11).
First comes the suffering, but then comes the glory. After the struggles of this life for Christ’s sake, we will be glorified as Christ was when we face Him on that day. Paul reminds us in 2 Corinthians 4:17 that our ‘slight momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all measure.’ Imagine that! An eternal weight of glory so great that it is beyond measurement. Remember those words when we are in the thick of struggles and suffering. What we are experiencing is temporal, just as Jesus’ suffering was, but the glory that is set before us will be never ending. In eternity when we look back upon our suffering for Christ, whatever it may be for us right now, it will seem a mere inconvenience in comparison to the reward that we have received.
‘Father in the midst of struggles and difficulties that I encounter because of my faith in you, I ask that you help me to be patient, to persevere and to remember the promise of all that is to come. Amen.’