2 Timothy 2:21 – “If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.”
2 Timothy 3:12 – “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.”
“God puts a great deal of honour upon suffering saints. To suffer for Christ is honourable; God will not put this honour upon every one, He puts this honour only upon those that are vessels of honour; by grace God makes men vessels of silver and vessels of gold, and then casts them into the fire to melt and suffer for His name, and a higher glory He cannot put upon them on this side glory.” – Thomas Brooks
We bring honor to the Lord Jesus Christ as we suffer for him in this world. We esteem or highly value Christ as we pick up our cross daily and follow him. Crosses come in all kinds, shapes and forms. Pretty much anything that produces suffering in our life is a cross. However we truly only bring honor to our Lord if we pick it up. I think we pick it up by letting God work through the suffering and we respond to it in a Christ like manner with love, peace and joy (fruit of the Spirit). The opposite of picking up a cross would be to respond to suffering with bitterness, malice, wrath, and envy (works of the flesh).
You can only be conformed to the image of Christ in the furnace of life as you die to the flesh and let Christ form the works of the Spirit in the midst of suffering. That is how the dross comes to the top and is skimmed off by the Spirit of God. Suffering is just the fuel for the fire. It is the catalyst to start the reaction. The real action is the Spirit of God changing forming a new creature. We chemically change to a new, purer alloy in the furnace. Why don’t you just surrender and let Christ be formed in you and become a vessel unto honor.
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