I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal. If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour. Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour. Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again. The people therefore, that stood by, and heard it, said that it thundered: others said, An angel spake to him. Jesus answered and said, This voice came not because of me, but for your sakes. Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.
To abide in Christ is to follow after and imitate His manner of living: Jesus sowed righteousness into the earth by giving His life as a ransom for many.
What portions of your life does God want you to lose? What in your life has to die in order for you to bear fruit for the Savior?
Remember, the thing(s) that have to die are not necessarily bad things. They may even be good things in some people’s lives, fulfilling godly, natural needs:
Marriage is a godly covenant, but the Lord was called to singleness.
A permanent dwelling is a practical blessing, but the Son of man had no place to lay His head (Luke 9:58).
When Jesus was on the cross, even His most fundamental, biological needs were not met. He thirsted. He struggled to breathe.
Every man and woman has a cross they must bear, if they are to follow Jesus (Luke 9:23). How do your know you are carrying your cross?
Your soul is troubled: for it is the nature of the flesh to fight to live. [Your spirit may be filled with joy–for you are doing the will of God–but we will not find joy and contentment in areas of our lives where God has imposed a temporary lack or affliction or permanent condition of self-denial or life-long trial. Of course, in time, we will have victory and peace in this area of lives [if we continue by faith and allow the Lord to finish His work]: but then, the Lord will begin working in other areas of our lives! Of course, we can always take joy in the good that our sufferings do in our lives: as David wrote, It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes–Psalm 119:71].
God speaks His approval to you.
Others are drawn to the knowledge of God by your obedience: for Christ is revealed to them.
Why are our crosses beautiful things? They allow us to provide evidence of our faith (James 2:20) and draw us into intimacy with the Savior:
For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.