II Timothy 2:12

“If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us.”

Have you ever wondered why your character is the only thing you enter heaven with? There is always an element of dissatisfaction we have when it comes to our own character; especially when mirrored against the Word. Hardly a day goes by where we feel adequate to call ourselves children of God. But look at what James says to us, “Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” (James 1:3-4). Now look at verse twelve, “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.” (James 1:12).

Although some of life's trials are brought on by our own poor decisions, James is explaining to us that patience, endurance, and steadfastness are built and established by the daily trials and tribulations that God allows to come along. That is why Paul could say to the Romans, “And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience.” (Romans 5:3). Paul didn't boast in his own ability to overcome the things in life that were hard, but boasted that it was God's strength shining through His weakness and inability that allowed him to overcome. God was building in Paul, and still builds in the believer today through the hardships and distresses of life, the character that befits his Queen, the Bride of Jesus Christ.

Christ must have a Bride that is capable of ruling along side Him with true wisdom and character in her. She must be without spot or wrinkle. It is the blood of Christ that makes her clean and without spot or wrinkle, but that alone does not give her character. The trials of this life, the pain we experience, the horror of sin, the filth of the world, and the sweetness of Christ’s love all combined together over time to build in us character. Only the potter knows when the pot is finished and ready. So let the potter do the working. Just yield to His mercy and grace which is more than sufficient for you.

Let us glory in the trials and tribulations of life and give praise in all things to Christ, for working in us the character needed for the glorious life to come, which is just right around the corner.

An Exposition Of The Seven Church Ages (Chapter 4 - The Smyrnaean Church Age)
Unless we suffer with Him we cannot reign with Him. You have to suffer to reign. The reason for this is that character simply is never made without suffering. Character is a VICTORY, not a gift. A man without character can't reign because power apart from character is Satanic. But power with character is fit to rule. And since He wants us to share even His throne on the same basis that He overcame and is set down in His Father's throne, then we have to overcome to sit with Him. And the little temporary suffering we go through now is not worthy to be compared to the tremendous glory that will be revealed in us when He comes. Oh, what treasures are laid up for those who are willing to enter into His Kingdom through much tribulation.