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FELLOWSHIP OF HIS SUFFERINGS

That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death - Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer - Ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise Rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's suffering - And truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ  Phil 3:10 Rom. 12:12, Hebrews 10:36, 1 Peter 4:13, 1Jo 1:3

If we are going to have fellowship (koinonia) with Christ, then we must be partakers (koinoneo) in His sufferings. Did you notice that? Both the words "fellowship" and "partakers" come form the same Greek word, which is "koinonia." So let me reiterate what I just said; To fellowship with Christ suggest that there is going to be some suffering involved, right?

To share in the sufferings of Christ will require us to, in Jesus own words, "take up his cross daily, and follow Him. Lu 9:23 If you think your flesh is going to be a willing participant in all of this, you're seriously mistaken. Need I remind you that one of the chief enemies of the Christian outside the world and the devil is, you guessed it, yourself!

One thing that is mandatory in the Christian walk is to deny self. Thus we must look forward to the cross, yea we must love it, knowing that it is only when we place ourselves willing upon it that we will find our deliverance.

Further more, the flesh has a mind of its own; it wants it own way, free of experiencing any kind of pain or restraint. If there is a short cut the flesh will search it out. It will do everything in its power to keep from being crucified. Perhaps that is what Paul had in mind when he wrote;

I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me; and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me Gal 2:20

If we are going to suffer for the sake of Christ then we should know how Christ suffered. I mean we do want to get it right, do we not? Fortunately the Bible is not silent on this subject for we read;

For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an ensample, that ye should follow His steps. Who did not sin neither was guile found in His mouth. Who when He was reviled, reviled not again; when He suffered, He threatened not; but committed Himself to Him that judgeth righteously. 1 Peter 2:21-23

Wow, did you get that; we have been called unto suffering? Don't shut down yet, there's still more. I guess it would be safe to conclude then that if you haven't experienced any suffering then chances are you have not been properly introduced to Christ.I'll say that one more time because I think it's important and I don't want you to just glance over it.

If you haven't experienced any suffering then chances
are you have not been properly introduced to Christ.

If we suffer we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us: 2Ti 2:12 DENY HIM? Yes, deny Him the right to work in our lives in the area of suffering. For if it is our intention to live this life in the flesh always looking for an easy out, it is obvious that we really don't know Christ, and He does not know us.To suffer for Christ means to do so with patient endurance, and joy. We are told of Jesus that;

For the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God Heb 12:2

Endurance is the ability to withstand hardship or stress. Patience is the ability to bear pain without complaining. In a sense, both of these ideas are involved in the statement of James that "faith worketh patience" James 1:3

The Greek word translated "patience" is made up of two words that literally mean, "to remain under. So, when we make a faith-choice to remain in our trials, and we continue in that trial demonstrating all joy, what results is another quality Christ exhibited by when He suffered, and that is self-control.

This is the NORM. Don't let anyone tell you differently. You see the more often our faith is tried the stronger it will become. And the stronger our faith becomes, the easier it will be face our trials. Even though the trials can seem pretty severe at times, we can have confidence as we rest in the truth of

Eph 1:11 which states. In whom also we have obtained an inheritance being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will.

Yes, it is one thing to desire fellowship with God based on His goodness and love, but it's an entirely different matter desiring to fellowship with Him based on partaking in His sufferings. How's your fellowship progressing? Would you have to say it is one based on connivance or is it one based on partaking in His sufferings?

I leave you with this final thought by William Temple (1881-1944) who wrote:

There never was a pain that befell a man, no frustration or discouragement, however insignificant, that, transferred to God, did not affect God endlessly more than man, and was not infinitely more contrary to Him.

So, if God puts up with it for the sake of some good He foresees for you, and if you are willing to suffer what God suffers, and to take what comes to you through Him, then whatever it is, it becomes divine in itself; shame becomes honor, bitterness becomes sweet, and gross darkness, clear light.

Everything takes its flavor from God and becomes divine; everything that happens [reveals] God when a man's mind works that way; things all have this one taste; and therefore God is the same to this man alike in life's bitterest moments and sweetest pleasures.


THINK ON THESE THINGS ACT ON THESE THINGS

May God grant you His peace 
If I can be of any assistance
please don't hesitate to drop me a line.
Dan

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Now I commend You Brethern To The Word Of His Grace That Is Able To Build You up And Give You An Inheritance Among The Saints Ac20:32