THE FELLOWSHIP OF HIS SUFFERING
Have you ever prayed to be like Christ? If so, did you expect life to become easier? Or, if it were easier, did you expect it to stay that way? "Though He were a Son, yet He learned obedience, through the things that He suffered." Heb. 5:8 Did you expect those you love to understand your deeper devotion to Christ?" He is despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief." Is. 53:3 Did you expect a deeper fellowship with those closest to you, who share your belief in God, The Father? "My soul is exceeding sorrowful unto death. Tarry here and watch." Mk. 14:34 "Simon, do you sleep? Couldn't you watch one hour?" Mk. 14:37 This, also, He found on the second and third return, yet He loved them still, and did not forsake them.. And, they all forsook Him and fled." Mk. 14:50 And, consider. "From that time, many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more." Jn. 6:66 Peter, the rock, denied Him three times. Jn. 18:17, 25,27 "They sought Him that He would depart out of their coasts." Mk. 8:34 "And they were offended at Him." Mk. 6:3 "They were filled with wrath at what He said." Lu. 4:28 "They sought to throw Him from the hill of the city." Lu. 4:29 They chose a thief to live, and Him to die." Lu. 25:18 "He came to His own, and they received Him not." Jn. 1:11 He was misunderstood. "The Son of Man, came eating and drinking, and they say, 'Behold, a man gluttonous, and a wine bibber, a friend of publicans and sinners.' " Lu. 7:34, Matt.11:19 "And, the scribes and pharisees watched Him, whether He would heal on the Sabbath, that they might find an accusation against Him." Lu. 6:7
His own misunderstood Him. The more of God they saw in Him, the more He was hated. They tried to make Him fit into their mold, but He was too big. So they killed Him. But, because He went through to the death and victory, and did not turn the other way, some are changed, and have eternal life. "When they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and the same day, there were added unto them about three thousand souls." Acts 2:37 and 41
If we seek to be like Christ, shall we, then, turn and retreat from, seemingly, unbearable pain and hardship and suffering? He has truly said He will never leave us or forsake us, but shall we turn and retreat from our firey trial? Has He said, "Turn and retreat, for I will retreat with you. The trial is too hard?" Or, has He said otherwise? "Who will not allow you to be tempted above that you are able, but will with the temptation, also make a way to escape, that you may be able to bear it." 1Cor. 10:13 If we turn from our problems, they will be always behind us. If we face them, we can go over, under, or through them. "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not over-flow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, neither shall the flame kindle upon you." Is. 43:2 He was with the three Hebrew children in the firey furnace. Their skin was not scorched, their hair was not singed, and the smell of smoke was not upon them. "The Captain of our salvation was made perfect through suffering.." Heb. 2:10 "For in that He, Himself, both suffered, being tempted, He is able to succor those that are tempted." Heb. 2:18 "For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities, but was in all points tempted like we are, yet without sin." Heb. 4:15
I do not believe we can ever, in this life, understand what Jesus did or what He suffered. But, how can we come close if we aren't crushed? "That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto his death." Phil. 3:10
"You shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: But, he that endures to the end shall be saved." Mt. 10:22
"Blessed are you when all men revile you, and persecute you, and say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake". Mt. 5:11
"If the world hates you, you know that it hated me before it hated you." Jn. 15:18
I am not as bad as some people think I am.
I am not as good as some people think I am.
I am what I am.
I am not yet what I shall be.
I shall be all that I ever hoped or dreamed.
I shall be perfect, because..........
God finishes what He starts, through Jesus.