The Path To Glory Leads Through Suffering

The last words of famous evangelist D.L. Moody were – Earth recedes. Heaven opens before me. If this is death, it is sweet! There is no valley here. God is calling me, and I must go. – D.L. Moody
For many, death seems so final, the ending of life, and yet for those who believe in Jesus, death is the gateway to see the glory of God. The next and final chapter of eternal life.

In Matthew 16:21-28, we read that Jesus began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem and suffer. His suffering would be at the hands of the religious leaders, ultimately leading to His death. His death would then lead to His resurrection and the revelation of His Kingdom and His glory. While Jesus did have a choice in going to Jerusalem, He was driven by obedience to the calling of His Father to come and give His life. “just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”” (Matthew 20:28, NASB95)

We don’t like suffering and, by nature, try to avoid it at all costs. Perhaps this is why Peter stepped up to try to interfere with Jesus’ mission. Not so much because Peter was worried about Jesus, but more likely Peter was worried about himself. The loss of a friend, the loss of a Rabbi, and the loss of the life that Peter enjoyed at this time were too much. “God forbid,” was his answer. Lord Never. Jesus’ rebuke was such that He called Peter’s real motives out – “you are not setting your mind on God’s interest but mans.”

Many people follow Christ for the good and prosperous lives, but that is not what Jesus calls us to. Jesus calls us to live the godly life, and the godly life is one that begins with suffering. Jesus clearly said, “if anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me.” Peter was waffling on his conviction that Jesus is the Messiah, Son of God (Matt. 16:16). The one who truly believes that Jesus is the Savior of the world will surrender all to walk the path of suffering to inherit the glorious kingdom of God.
After considering all this, I added my own question that Jesus answers, “Is sacrificing your life and suffering in this world as a Christ-follower worth it?” The answer is yes. Jesus reminded His disciples of the glorious reward awaiting them and seeing Jesus in His glory. Seeing the glory gives the one who suffers assurance that there is an eternal reward of life after suffering in this world and death.

The path to glory leads through sacrifice and suffering as modeled by Jesus. But when we come to an end of this life and see the Glory of Jesus in His kingdom, we will realize that though the path was hard and painful, the destination is worth it.

Pastor Cary

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