“. . . That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death” (Philippians 3:10).
WE ALL HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY to count brokenness as a blessing, realizing that God does not waste pain but uses it to mold and shape us. Here are four principles that help us embrace pain and in so doing experience a fellowship with Christ in His sufferings.
When we suffer, we identify with Christ in His sufferings (see Romans 8:16-17; 2 Timothy 2:3). We begin to know by experience a small portion of the pain Christ endured on our behalf. This identification draws us into having an intimacy with Christ. Job, who endured unspeakable suffering, said, “My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you” (Job 42:5 NIV). Intimacy with God is often borne in the furnace of affliction.
God works in us through pain to confirm, strengthen, and establish us (see 1 Peter 5:10). Pain brings us to the end of our very limited resources. We begin to acknowledge that we can’t, but He can! God is always shaping and molding us into the image of His Son (see Romans 12:1-2). We have all of Him in us; pain and difficulty release Him through us.
Power is manifested in weakness (see 2 Corinthians 12:9-11). When we come to our end, Christ begins to work and manifest His power. We can’t, He can. Hope is clarified in the difficult to sustain in the times of the good (see Romans 5:3-5). Hope is refined and clarified by difficulties.
Hope will be the animator of our faith. “The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him” (Lamentations 3:25 NIV). We receive the crown of life if we persevere (see James 1:12). Our reward and payout is in heaven. This is a great motivator!
We long for our true home: eternity (see Romans 8:18-19, 1 Corinthians 15:51-55). This world is not our home and pain reminds us that it is not. We must seek our eternal home. We can experience the eternal in the present, yet the fullness of this is only in heaven (see Revelation 21:4). We glorify God when we respond in a godly way in our pain (see 1 Peter 4:12-16; 1 Peter 1:6-7).
“There’s an opening of the soul that happens during times of stress or duress. During times of suffering, we experience God at a deep, profound level.” — Dr. Hager
Purchase the Entire Devotional – “Experiencing Christ as Life and Leader”
The devotion above was taken from the 52-week Devotional entitled “Experiencing Christ as Life and Leader”.
Many give a mental assent to this teaching yedft are often asking, “What do I do? What does Christ as life look like?“ Too often Christians err by moving too far to one side or the other—reducing the Christian life to a list of do’s and don’ts, or they actually do nothing.
These inspiring weekly devotions are just some of the actions that reflect the life of Christ in each of us, and they explore four areas as we follow the One Leader, Jesus Christ –
- A Foundational Focus
- A Personal Focus
- A Relational Focus
- A Missional Focus
Be challenged, encouraged, and spurred on to a deeper walk with Christ.
Purchase Your Copy in our online store
Purchase Your Copy on Amazon