You mean to tell me we are to join Jesus in the fellowship of His suffering? We are to take up our cross and follow Him? Are we to suffer because Jesus did? The answer is yes to those questions… but it’s much deeper than that. There is a clear purpose for suffering and it all has to do with God. Jesus really suffered for us in many ways…(note- the scripture says the fellowship of His sufferings…with an “s”) Our precious Lord and Savior experienced great sorrow because of our sins.
Not only did Jesus suffer on the cross…but I believe He suffered the minute He was conceived in Mary’s womb because it was out of Jesus’ comfort zone. To be God and then become a human was not the best thing for a very Highly Exalted Holy and Supreme being named God or “I AM” as He calls Himself. But He became human for us because… God so loved the world. He made a way to help us even before the world was created! He was part of His own plan for us! God loved us first….God humbled Himself first. He bent down and scooped us up into His loving arms when He became a man and submitted Himself to such humiliation and agony that the cross and being a human brought Him. Jesus suffered for us and Paul’s prayer was…. That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; (Philippians 3:10)
We are told in the bible that we are going to suffer in 1 Peter 4:12-13:
Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation.…
Most of my Christian life has been a struggle to figure why I have been suffering and why the suffering of others. I try to encourage others all the time and I pray for their suffering to be over. We are suppose to pray but God has us go through suffering for a reason and it seems as if suffering is sharing in the fellowship with Christ suffering. I’ve always thought that suffering is a really bad thing…but that can’t be right I light of what the “bible” says about suffering. Suffering does a great work in our lives and we are told to…2Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, 3knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.… (James 1:2).
We Christians can get through our suffering. God‘s response to Paul when he asked for a healing from his physical suffering ….But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. ( Corinthians 12:9)
God promised that if you…Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” (Hebrew13:5)
So we need to…Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. (1Peter5:7)
Instead of dwelling on all the mess the devil is doing, Instead of spending a lot of time worrying about our troubles… Instead of concentrating on all that I not right in our lives and this world….we should put our focus on who made us, who saved us and humble ourselves before our Holy God and repent for all wrong doing. We should spend a lot of time worshipping and loving our Lord and Savior. We should spend a tremendous amount of time walking with God! This is how we can adapt in ”suffering”.
Nobody in this world enjoys suffering and pain. I know I don’t for sure…but I’m beginning to look at suffering in a different way which is more helpful and understanding. Job said to His wife… He replied, “You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” (Job2:10) “Though he slay me, yet will I trust Him” (Job 13:15). God should get Glory from us whether our prayers are answered right away or if we have to wait or if He just says no to our request.
There is a lot of suffering in our lives and in this world. We couldn’t possibly understand it all. In all the years of humanity…nobody has ever been able to understand tragic events, pain and suffering. Some People cry out to God and some curse Him. Some accuse Him of being unfeeling, mean and unloving. I know this for a fact….we are not going to understand it in our life time…but we will understand it when God reveals all to us in our next life after our death in this one. That is a fact…so for now….for our peace of mind…we need to hold on tightly to the grace of God….we need to walk very close to Jesus, we need to read our bible and put our trust in God. If we don’t do this and our time of suffering comes….it will take us a down a dark and lonely road. We will become…afraid. We Christians are all going to go up the rough side of the mountain. We can go with the supernatural helping power of God or we can go it alone with our own weak strength. We have a choice.
Spend time just concentrating on Christ pain and suffering, thanking Him for His sacrifice. Think about how a mighty powerful God became a man to bring you close to Himself. Spend lots of time worshiping Jesus and walking with Him. Don’t be afraid of sharing in the fellowship of His suffering! Jesus understands this suffering and will be there as we experience this difficult but rewarding part of our Christian journey.