Triumph Through Suffering
“Therefore, we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him.” Romans 6:4-6,8
What is the cost of experiencing the resurrection life of Jesus? Simply put, we must die to ourselves and follow the King. This kind of death to ourselves comes through humility and many times the greatest teacher of humbling ourselves is pain of some kind. The one life I can point to who was an example of triumph through suffering is Watchmen Nee. From the very beginning of Watchman Nee’s ministry, the Lord arranged his situations as opportunities for him to deny his soul-life and his natural life in order to experience the resurrection life of Christ. Watchman Nee saw that we, as believers, had not only died with Christ but were also raised with Him. (Romans 6) Through his experience of the resurrection life of the indwelling Christ, Watchman Nee was able to bear the cross and to participate in the fellowship of His (Jesus’) sufferings, being conformed to His (Jesus’) death. (Phil 3:10)
Watchman Nee suffered from tuberculosis, a chronic stomach disorder and angina pectoris, a serious heart problem. Following the takeover of China, he was arrested in 1952 for the sake of the gospel. He was falsely condemned, judged and sentenced to 15 years of imprisonment in 1956 and he died in confinement in 1972. Watchman Nee wrote numerous letters that later became books. The one book I highly recommend is “The Breaking of the Outer Man and the Release of the Spirit.” Most of us cannot fathom this kind of pain and suffering in our flesh, but to read about a faithful man like Watchman Nee, we can see how one can triumph and experience the resurrection life of Jesus through suffering.
Today’s Prayer: Merciful Father, help me endure the suffering I am now experiencing and cause me to so trust You in every moment of discomfort and remember that Jesus endured the cross for my sake. Thank You that You will never leave me or forsake me and that You have an eternal plan and rest for me in Your presence.
Today’s Challenge: Ask yourself what lesson God could teach you or how He could humble you and change you through a painful experience you’re going through now or one that you went through in your past. Write down the thoughts He gives you and share those thoughts with at least one person.