My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from Me. Yet I want Your will to be done, not Mine. (Matthew 26:39 NLT)
We must face the fact and we must seek help from God always to bear in mind that we are going to have a path of suffering if we are in fellowship with the Lord Jesus.... There has to come a point when we sit down and do some calculating and come to a definite conclusion on this matter that, although very often we may not be able to see that our suffering is because of our relationship to Him (the sufferings are so manifold and diverse, and very often they look as though they have no relationship at all with our Christian life) at the same time, whether we can discern it or not; the fact remains that the pathway of the child of God, of the fellow of Jesus Christ, is the pathway of suffering. I say, postponement or delay in settling that matter keeps us all the time in that state of hoping and waiting for it to be different, and, because the difference does not come, getting downcast and feeling that all is wrong and that the Lord is against us and all that sort of thing, thus giving all the ground that the enemy wants for destroying our testimony. The very first thing to remember when we take this cup is that while we are taking it as the cup of salvation, while we are remembering the atonement which is in the Blood, and all the wonderful redemption which is ours because of that Blood, the cup does also speak to us of fellowship with His suffering....
Yes, there is something which is going up to His praise and glory as Christ is being formed through the fires of adversity and suffering. It is fellowship with Him in His sufferings, after all, if it is bringing about more Christlikeness. So our first thing is to reckon with this and get it settled. What are you expecting, what are you waiting for, what are you concerned about, what are you pleading and praying for? If you are praying for full and final deliverance from adversity and suffering and difficulty and all that sort of thing, let me tell you your prayer will never be answered. Forms of suffering may change, but in some form or another we are going on to the end in a way of adversity. Satan is not going to become our friend while we are friends of Jesus Christ. The kingdom of Satan is not going to rally to our support while we belong to the kingdom which is opposed to his. Let us settle that. It will get us free, perhaps, from this entanglement.
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