Born Ordinary, Called to be Extraordinary

The Suffering and Glory of God’s Children.

Some people are born with status, splendor, intelligence, beauty, and they appear glorious in people’s eyes; but there is a kind of spiritual glory that fallen people need to know and experience, that is the greatest glory revealed when a person goes through extreme suffering and sacrifice for that which values eternally. Actually, two things are most valuable. One is to do the will of God; second, the life of God’s people, therefore, the most glorious and dignified God left His glorious throne and descended to this world as man, sacrificed to the end to save His people. The price involved, and the heart of wanting to pay this price, had revealed the greatest glory. Try asking: how do our hearts define [glory]? Is this a manifestation of love? Faith? Or doing things wisely? Actually, when we talk about glory, there’re elements of suffering, sacrifice and forsaking self in it. In a world that is full of sin and evil, could there be no suffering from the violent spiritual battles that seek to show love, faith and wisdom? How can suffering be avoided when we want to save God’s people? Hence, the glory of God is surely not a kind of comfortable love or faith that seeks to benefit self, or wisdom of the world; this glory surely involves sacrifice. Further, when we are living in this sinful body, we the glorious people will never yearn for the glorious victory without experiencing the war against our flesh. The glorious return of a general from war is surely related to how tough the fight had been with his enemy. Similarly, as we live in this world that is filled with sin and our sinful bodies, there’ll be sufferings brought by the battles, and this suffering is the absolute factor for us to attain our glory, also revealing to us that we are people who will enter into glory (the resurrection of body) in future. We also need to be careful so that we don’t fall into “suffering theology”. Suffering theology proves one’s godliness and humility by self-imposing suffering, and this is what Paul absolutely opposed and criticised in . The bible does not advocate such teaching, yet these are seen in many pagans’ doctrines and rituals. This comes from guilt-stricken people (or: no assurance of sin being forgiven) who attempt to exchange for God’s approval and man’s praises with their spirit of suffering. These people have no Holy Spirit, and the belief they uphold are contrary to the gospel. But to us who have already possessed the seal (indwelling) of Holy Spirit, surely, our hearts receive the deeper and more spiritual mentality than the suffering spirit, that is the [groan] in the body. In today’s scriptures, this term appears a few times, it says: the groan of creation, the groan of God’s children, and the groan of the Spirit. This groan emerges when man fell. This groan bears spiritual meaning as it says this world is coming to an end very quickly, what people toil under the sun currently are meaningless and worthless; what is meaningful is that which saves and sanctifies the saints. Hence, if a saint relies on the help of the Spirit all the more while groaning, and takes lightly of that which is light and momentary and long for the eternal glory, so much so that he strike a blow to his own body and make it his slave (submit to the will that Holy Spirit intercedes for him), he is truly a believer who pursues to receive glory in suffering.

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