There is a principle in Scripture that is reinforced repeatedly throughout the Bible which conveys this message: without suffering, there is no glory. Of course, everybody wants glory, but few are willing to embrace the suffering that precedes it. Yet, Messiah made it very clear, on many occasions and in many different ways, that this principle is in the Scripture from beginning to end.
One of the most obvious examples of this is the statement He made in Luke’s gospel concerning Himself. The setting for the statement is a conversation with two of His disciples, on their way to the town of Emmaus. According to the text, the two men were discussing the events of the past few days – the crucifixion and reports that the body of Yeshua was missing. As they discussed these things, they encountered a stranger – actually Messiah – and began to express their bewilderment at what had transpired since he was taken into custody by their leaders. Within that context, the “stranger” says to them:
“‘Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?’ And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.” (Luke 24:26-27)
From the Five Books of Moses (the Torah), forward, He showed them how the Messiah had to suffer before He could enter His glory. Most likely, one of those places in the Torah He referred to was the story of Joseph, his suffering and his eventual rise to power and glory. Like the Messiah later, Joseph had to endure jealousy, hatred, exile, death threats and false accusations. All these things were a part of the path Joseph had to walk before he could be elevated to a position of authority and power. That’s the principle we see in the Scripture: suffering first, glory later. Here’s what Paul had to say on the topic in Romans 8:16-18:
“The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Messiah, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”
There you have it: no suffering – no glory. No child comes into the world unless there are birth pangs; God designed it that way. Likewise, if we are going to come into the fruition of what He has called us to, we must accept the fact that there will be a suffering time. We can take heart, though, if we are presently suffering, a more glorious time may be on the horizon.
We are not speaking of the kind of glory that calls attention to ourselves and gratifies the flesh, but the kind of glory that exalts the Messiah and sanctifies the Name of the Father in Heaven. We speak of a time that demonstrates His perfect will in operation in our lives and the lives of our loved one. To reach this goal is why the suffering must first come because our flesh must die first. No flesh shall glory in His presence.
Do you feel that you are in that suffering time? If you do, be encouraged. The call to come out of the prison cell and stand before the King is in your future.