Suffering Now. Glory Later.

Each day presents setbacks and suffering anew. When going through trying times we so often hear “..the tide will turn soon”, “..tomorrow will be brighter” etc. As part of a community we do bear the weight of each other’s suffering and ease the load. Apart from sharing that load and so bearing each other up we should turn to Christ and understand the ever present suffering now for eternal glory. John Owen so describes (with great emphasis) the suffering and the ensuing glory of Christ:

“These are the two heads whereunto all the prophecies and predictions concerning Jesus Christ under the Old Testament are referred, — namely, his sufferings, and the glory that ensued thereon, 1 Peter i. 11. All the prophets testified beforehand “of the Sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.” So when he himself opened the Scriptures unto his disciples, he gave them this as the sum of the doctrine contained in them, “Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?” Luke xxiv. 26. The same is frequently expressed elsewhere, Rom. xiv. 9; 343 Phil. ii. 5–9.

So much as we know of Christ, his sufferings, and his glory, so much do we understand of the Scripture, and no more.”

The two themes where under the predictions (and prophecies) occur in the OT regarding Jesus is either suffering or glory and that, according to Owen, is the sum of what we actually understand of Scripture “and no more.”.  How does the knowledge of suffering then glory apply to us? What is the implication? (Apart from seeing the suffering then glory in Scripture) Owen goes on to answer this:

“If we suffer, we shall also reign with him,” 2 Tim. ii. 12. They do but deceive themselves who design any other method of these things. Some would reign here in this world; and we may say, with the apostle, “Would you did reign, that we might reign with you.” But the members of the mystical body must be conformed unto the Head. In him sufferings went before glory; and so they must in them.”

We know our suffering today binds us to Christ, and in that bond we are tied to the glory of Christ.

-Text quoted from Meditations and Discourses of the Glory of Christ, John Owen, 1696

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One Response to Suffering Now. Glory Later.

  1. Johan Verster says:

    Great post pel…so maklik om hierdie waarheid met my kop en mond te affirm…die moeilike ding is om die ‘pad van die kruis’ te kies as ‘die pad van gemak’ so populer en so aanloklik is…

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