September 21 - Suffering and Reigning
Paul wrote in Romans 8:18, “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.” If we wish to reign with Christ, we must be prepared to suffer. We read in 2 Timothy,
This is a faithful saying: For if we died with Him, we shall also live with Him. If we endure [suffer], we shall also reign with Him. If we deny Him, He also will deny us. If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself. (2 Timothy 2:11–13)
So, we see that if we suffer, we will reign; but if we deny Jesus Christ, He will deny us. There come times in our lives when we are challenged to either suffer with Him or deny Him, and the issues are put clearly before us. (See, for example, Acts 14:22; Philippians 1:29–30; 2 Thessalonians 1:4–10.)
I have a beautiful picture that I would like to describe to you. It comes from the tabernacle, and it concerns three of the main colors, especially in the high priest’s garments: blue, purple, and scarlet. Blue is a type of heavenly color; scarlet is a type of human nature, as well as the blood; and purple is the perfect blending of blue and scarlet, which speaks of Christ as God incarnate. The blue of heaven and the scarlet of earth blend to make purple. This is a beautiful picture of the nature of Jesus Christ—both God and man, perfectly blended in a new color.
The significance of purple in Scripture is twofold: it signifies royalty and suffering. You cannot wear the purple in the kingdom if you do not first wear it on earth by suffering. If we suffer, we will reign.
Thank You, Father, that I am Your child. I proclaim that if I endure suffering, I shall also reign with You. I have received the Spirit of sonship, and by Him, I cry, “Abba, Father.” Amen.