Was not Jesus’ suffering continual on this earth? The cross was the culmination of what the Creator endured on His fallen creation. It’s as though in his walking upon this earth those 33 years, He was gathering up the death that needed to die in order to recreate a new heavens & earth where righteousness reigned (2 Peter 3:10-13). While most of the Adoption won’t suffer the persecution of our Lord or the Apostle Paul, the Spirit brings us into that same “mind” with which Christ walked on this fallen earth. We grow to view all surrounding us differently. We cease to view this world as at our service, for our pleasure & fulfillment. We see it increasingly with Romans 8:18-24 eyesight. We learn to live here by eternal hope, and that is what living by faith is all about. Our Fathers’ chastening us as adopted children is a huge part of this “faith training”. He is weaning us from our attachment to this world & our sense of normalcy in it. He is bringing us to walk by faith which is anchored in the Joy that is set before us, just as our Jesus did. (Hebrews 12:1-11)
Our Blessed Hope isn’t in our defeat of the flesh, our “getting better” in the here & now. The flesh is still the flesh, it will continue to lust as long as we are in these mortal bodies. Yes, we are not to fulfill those lusts, but the raging battle between flesh & Spirit will go on as long as we are residents of these bodies. Hence the groaning of Romans 8! For some of us, that groaning is deafening. No, our hope is in our Man who sits on His Throne at His (and ours) Fathers Right Hand. It is the Place of His Victory! And that Is Paul’s Gospel!
Our Victory is this Glorious Light that God has set up in our hearts, (Vs 6) His Covenant Spirit, ever Shining in our hearts on the Face of our Victorious Jesus! We must remember that the Power for every moment of survival on this earth has already been “worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead & seated Him at His Right Hand in heavenly places”. Ephesians 1:19-20
That’s why Paul was cast down, but not forsaken. By faith, he was drawing upon what he knew to be Eternally True. The same conflict with the resident death that our Lord encountered was Paul’s experience and He endured by His faith vision of the Resurrected Jesus Who is the Power of God!