Updated: Jun 8, 2019
“For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of Sonship. And by Him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in His sufferings in order that we may also share in His glory.”
As a child of God, I am blessed with a royal paradigm. That paradigm lets me see my present trials in light of an eternal perspective. Historically,a king understood that wars and trials were necessary to increase and establish the power of their monarchy. If I am seeking the kingdom of God first in my life, I'm going to encounter them too. They're the cost of doing business as a daughter of the King. Without battles, I will never truly experience victory.
In fact, this passage points out that suffering is not only inevitable, but also prescriptive. When I suffer, I begin to understand what it means to depend on God alone. When I'm forced to trust Him for grace to get through each day, or even hour, I learn how to do it. I learn to take the struggles to His as my ultimate strategist. I begin to see the bigger picture--how the glory of God could be shown in the middle of my mess. I learn to walk by faith--to operate from a truly royal, and eternal, paradigm.
Check out the “if” in the last part of verse 17. Suffering produces eternal glory. Every life will be touched by it sooner or later. Jesus' life was one of sacrifice and suffering--His blood earned for us an eternal weight of glory. What sets us apart from the world is how we accept and share both blessings and suffering. They are part of our royal heritage as children of the Most High King.
Why are struggles inevitable when we walk with Christ?
How do you see struggles--as curses or as opportunities to grow?
Reflect on Romans 8:28: "For we know that all things work together for good, for those who love
God and are called according to His purpose." Are things always as they seem?