I no longer count on my own goodness or my ability to obey Gods law, but I trust Christ to save me. For Gods way of making us right with himself depends on faith. As a result, I can really know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I can learn what it means to suffer with him, sharing in his death, so that, somehow, I can experience the resurrection from the dead!
There is nothing fun about suffering, and life is definitely full of it. It is worse for some than others but we all experience pain and suffering in many different forms on a daily basis. There is physical pain, emotional pain, and even spiritual pain. And as we see in the scripture above, Christianity isn't some kind of ticket to a pain-free life. In fact, to accept Christ into one's life might be the beginning of a life of even more pain and suffering than you had before you came to know him. Doesn't sound very inviting, does it? I would bet if you knew this before you came to know Christ, you might have reconsidered; I am sure I would have. But there is hope and joy in this passage that no amount of suffering or pain can take away.
"I no longer count on my own goodness or my ability to obey God's law, but I trust Christ to save me. For God's way of making us right with himself is through faith." These words are so often overlooked by Christians because they have heard them so often, but this "simple" fact is the thing that makes us different from every other religion on the face of the earth. It is God's greatest gift to mankind, the gift of salvation through faith alone. And as this passage tells us, it is not just about receiving a ticket to Heaven, but it is also about becoming the person that he wants us to be. Because, as it goes on to say, "As a result, I can really know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead.". This mighty power it speaks of is the Holy Spirit who will continue to work in our lives to make us like Christ. Although this work is often painful and does include no small amount of suffering, it is also our assurance of God's love for us and the fact that we do have everlasting life. And this is our greatest joy of joys!
So when the world gives you all kinds of grief and you feel like you want to give up, go back to this verse and remember that it is only going to last for a short while, and that the end of the journey is not really the end, but only the beginning. We are the most blessed people on the face of the earth because we belong to Him.
Dear Lord, you know my life is full of good things, but also full of suffering and pain. Sometimes it seems like it is more than I can bare. But just as Jesus suffered much while he was here on earth, I too must share in that. Please help me to always keep in mind that your love for me is immeasurable and that your Holy Spirit is always with me to help me get through literally anything the world can throw at me. I do trust in you. In Jesus Name, amen.