DIVINE GREATNESS BY SUFFERING
2 Samuel 7:8-9 AMP: So now say this to My servant David, Thus says the Lord of hosts: I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep, to be prince over My people Israel. (9) And I was with you wherever you went, and have cut off all your enemies from before you; and I will make you a great name, like [that] of the great men of the earth.
The New Testament church is of David’s spiritual dynasty so it is our prophetic destiny to be great in the earth, like David was and even greater. This is a greatness, like David’s was, that will be by divine favour, wisdom and ability; it will not be by natural human effort.
This truth is further revealed in
Zechariah 12:8 NIV: On that day the LORD will shield those who live in Jerusalem, so that the feeblest among them will be like David, and the house of David will be like God, like the Angel of the LORD going before them.
Romans 5:17 AMP: For if because of one man’s trespass (lapse, offense) death reigned through that one, much more surely will those who receive [God’s] overflowing grace (unmerited favor) and the free gift of righteousness [putting them into right standing with Himself] reign as kings in life through the one Man Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One).
Now to reign in this life as a spiritual King, we must be partakers of Christ’s suffering:
2 Timothy 2:12 KJV: If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:
Philippians 3:10-11 AMP: [For my determined purpose is] that I may know Him [that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly], and that I may in that same way come to know the power outflowing from His resurrection [which it exerts over believers], and that I may so share His sufferings as to be continually transformed [in spirit into His likeness even] to His death, [in the hope] (11) That if possible I may attain to the [spiritual and moral] resurrection [that lifts me] out from among the dead [even while in the body].
What do we suffer?
Persecution and tribulation, which we should overcome so they do not lead to sin, sickness and poverty.
Our unjust suffering is redemptive: it gives God the legal basis for the eternal punishment and incarceration of Satan and all rebels.
2 Thessalonians 1:4-6 KJV: So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure: (5) Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer: (6) Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you;
Revelation 20:10 KJV: And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
How do we suffer?
By self-denial to give sufficient time to prayer, fasting and the Word and so to generate and release sufficient power to overcome all (2 Cor. 2:14) the persecutions and tribulations that Satan attacks us with.
Luke 9:23 KJV: And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.
During the attacks of persecution and tribulation, we suffer temporary discomfort in our souls, bodies and circumstances, but because we understand why we are suffering, we remain faithful to God during the sufferings and so like Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego (Dan. 1-6), we are chosen to fulfill a great destiny: we experience divine greatness!
Colossians 1:24 NIV: Now I rejoice in what was suffered for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church.
It is instructive to note here that the scripture above suggests there is a certain measure of suffering each of us has to suffer to qualify to be accounted worthy to reign with Christ. Our willingness to partake of this suffering demonstrates our loyalty to God (Job.13.15) and removes pride (2 Cor. 12.7-10) from our hearts.
Isaiah 48:10 AMP: Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tried and chosen you in the furnace of affliction.
It is instructive and encouraging to observe that the times and years of suffering will be small compared to years of greatness, glory and blessings, just like Joseph only suffered a total of about 22 years of slavery, imprisonment and separation from his father and brothers and spent 70 years of enjoying greatness and glory (Gen. 37:2; 41:46; 45:3-9; 50:26).
1 Peter 5:10 KJV: But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.
Job 36:11 AMP: If they obey and serve Him, they shall spend their days in prosperity and their years in pleasantness and joy.
So, like Daniel (Dan. 1:8) and Joseph (Gen. 39:6-20), let us learn to suffer self-denial as early as possible (Eccl. 12:1) in our walk with God, to develop the necessary spiritual power we will need to overcome the persecutions and tribulations we will have to face and then spend the rest of our days in greatness and glory!