When you think about the man Jesus, what image comes to your mind? Likely, it is a man with a trashed out look and his head hanging. Maybe his face is even bloodied and his back ripped open by a whip. A defeated image comes to mind. Right? Jesus voluntarily submitted to being captured, knowing full well the suffering he was about to endure. He didn’t hide. He didn’t deny. He challenged! Read on…
“I have spoken openly to the world,” Jesus replied. “I always taught in synagogues or at the temple, where all the Jews come together. I said nothing in secret. Why question me? Ask those who heard me. Surely they know what I said.” (sounds bold and confident in spite of circumstance).
When Jesus said this, one of the officials nearby struck him in the face. “Is this the way you answer the high priest?” he demanded. “If I said something wrong,” Jesus replied, “testify as to what is wrong. But if I spoke the truth, why did you strike me?” (speaks truth and challenges in the face of danger).
Jesus set the standard for us. He said we would suffer because of our identity in Him. He sent the Holy Spirit to protect us and abide within us. The Holy Spirit engulfs us. We are to be bold in our faith. We are to accept suffering as a way of life, but suffering is does not define a defeated lifestyle. We are victorious in our suffering just as Christ was victorious.
Please thing about this. We are trained to believe suffering is aligned with being defeated and those that don’t suffer are successful. THIS IS A LIE. When you suffer for your identity in Christ, be bold. Be confident. Know that God has suffered before you and with you. Hold your head up. Be proud to be honored with the suffering of Christ. When you are slapped, spit on and persecuted. You are not defeated. YOU ARE VICTORIOUS IN AND WITH CHRIST!