Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Sharing His Suffering

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Philippians 3:10 (NET) My aim is to know him, to experience the power of his resurrection, to share in his sufferings, and to be like him in his death

There is a sense of comradery and brotherhood that soldiers share that is uncommon with other kinds of friendship. Some veterans have admitted to forging deeper bonds with members of their units than even their wives. There is something about experiencing danger and threat of death together with a person, or persons even, which forges strong bonds. It is similar, in a sense, to the bond a mother has with her child because of the pains of childbirth. This is because these kinds of shared experiences opens up a man to his friend/companion in a way that casual experiences do not.

As believers, we have a unique opportunity here on earth to know the Lord in a way even angels cannot. We get to not just serve him, we get to partake in his sufferings and undergo persecution and afflictions, not just for him, but also with him. This is the reason why time and again the Bible admonishes and instructs that persecution for the sake of Christ must be greeted with joy from the believer, not because believers are masochists, but rather because of the blessedness it presents (See Matthew 5;12; Romans 5:3 and James 1:2-3).

The book of Acts accounts that when the apostles were persecuted they left “rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name” (Acts 5:41). Suffering, shame, pain, persecution, for Christ’s sake is a badge of honor true believers wear proudly. It affords us the privilege of knowing the Lord more intimately and it makes us that we are able to bear the deep burdens of his heart.

Knowing him in this way and dimension doesn’t leave us the same, it refines us as gold and produces a reward for us. Hear how Apostle Peter puts it, “Such trials show the proven character of your faith, which is much more valuable than gold – gold that is tested by fire” (1 Peter 1:6a NET) while Apostle Paul phrases it this way, “For our momentary, light suffering is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison” (2 Corinthians 4:17 NET).

Go into today armed with the knowledge that there is great glory prepared for those who suffer with the Lord here on earth. Deepen your walk with Him by choosing to suffer for Him rather than conforming to this world.
—Ikechukwu Mpama

Bible In One Year: II John (In Devotional Audio)
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