On Suffering

“I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.”

Something shared in social media by a friend and worth remembering;
“In Gethsemane, the holiest of all petitioners prayed three times that a certain cup might pass from Him. It did not.”

Not my will, but Yours. Amen.

My observation: I realized that the Apostle Paul, who also asked three times to have a “thorn in the flesh” removed, found his prayer answered with the promise of the sufficiency of God’s grace without having it removed either. Paul also wrote several times about identifying with the suffering of Christ. This is certainly a way in which we can identify with Christ’s suffering ….. when our will must be yielded to the will of God, and instead of our preference or desire, we receive the sufficiency of His grace which is always more than enough!
2 Corinthians 1:5-7
For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer. Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort.

Romans 8:18
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.

Philippians 3:10
That I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,

2 Timothy 1:8
Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God,

Patiently persevering in faithfulness when the path is difficult, knowing that obedience to God’s will allows us to share, to the fullest extent possible, in the life of Christ. He says all who are weary and heavy laden, come to him, for his yoke is easy and his burden is light. The point of obedience and sharing in his suffering is not to feel the burden, but it is to know and experience the joy of the sufficiency of God’s grace and his comfort and to see the glory of his redemptive power at work in us.

Jesus bore a crown of thorns pressed into his head….. my meager sandspur cannot begin to compare with the suffering of Christ. So when God chooses not to remove it, but gives me the sufficiency of his grace to bear it and the comfort of his fellowship as well as the security of his love, just as he gave Christ the sufficiency of his grace to bear his thorns and the power of resurrection, then I celebrate the opportunity to know the surpassing glory of Christ in me.

Even Jesus’ physical strength in the flesh failed him on the way to Calvary and a helper was given to help him carry the cross…….God has provided a Helper to me to help bear the cross of my life, too. But Jesus’ spirit steadfastly looked toward the hill on which that cross which he had lifted up would lift him up.