The first part of these two verses assures us that we are the children of God, and “if” children than heirs. The “if” means there’s a condition, or should we say in this case a way of proving that the new birth was sincere. That proof is “if indeed we suffer with Him”. What kind of suffering do you suppose this would be talking about? What things did Jesus suffer that He also expects us to suffer the same? He’s not referring to the regular tribulations and persecutions that we must suffer because of our faith?
Although we will suffer persecution and the such, it is not what is being spoken of here as proof we are a child of God’s. That would be like lightening the load Jesus paid for us, and we can’t do that—He paid it all. And He gets all the glory. Instead, the suffering that is spoken of here is denying ourself, giving “our life” to Christ.
Now you may be wondering who did Christ give His life to than.... He gave His life to His Father, by denying Himself and doing nothing of His own will, but only the will of His Father. Jesus had human (fleshly) temptations like us, yet He did not sin. The Scripture teaches us that He was tempted in all manners as we are.
The first thing we did to enter into God’s family is give our life in exchange for Jesus’ life. From that moment on, we should be continuing to walk in that same way... of giving up our ways for the ways of Christ. Allowing that Word of God to Sanctify us (set us apart from others) by denying our flesh and walking in the Spirit. If there is no suffering with Him, then it is doubtful that we really received the full revelation of that Good News of the Gospel or we didn’t have a good understanding of it.
Father, You have said that if we lose our life for Your sake, then we shall find it, give me the strength that I need to deny myself and truly follow You. May all my desires be totally hinged on Your desires for me, that I may live out that perfect plan You have for my life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.