“…. always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.” -2 Cor. 4.10
Believers are not merely called to “live life.” We have been brought into a new wisdom, a vital continuum with saints of old, and a mode of being which can only be summed up in the word resurrection. One does not come into resurrection power and glory by merely “living life.” There is a dying required before resurrection has its first possibilities.
Our view of suffering is directly connected to the measure of resurrection life we are permitted to experience. If we do not trust the Lord in the midst of suffering, or if we are unwilling to experience sufferings, we will find ourselves walking only ankle deep in the river of life when the Lord has invited us to follow the stream all the way into the ocean depths. If we are complainers, pleasure-seekers, “me-first” saints, we will not taste more than an occasional puddle of living waters of God. But if we are willing to die to self-centeredness and self-sufficient living, and if we believe that He is wanting to immerse us in His own Spirit, “the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.”
Hear Amy Carmichael, long time missionary to India:
We who follow the Crucified are not here to make a pleasant thing of life; we are called to suffering for the sake of a suffering, sinful world. The Lord forgive us our shameful evasion and hesitations. His brow was crowned with thorns; do we then seek rosebuds for our crowning?
His hands were pierced with nails, are our hands ringed with jewels? His feet were bare and bound; do our feet walk delicately? What do we know of travail? Of tears that scald before they fall? Of heartbreak? Of being scorned?
God forgive us our love of ease. God forgive us that so often we turn our faces from a life that is even remotely life His.
Today, lay your life before Him afresh. May we become a generation that knows what it means to carry “about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life… may be manifested.”