PARTAKERS OF HIS SUFFERING
On several occasions, I have shared in these devotions about being partakers of His sufferings. I know that is something we don’t always talk about, but it is central to our relationship with God. We sing the song “Jesus paid it all, all to Him we owe.” That alone should cause us to recognize not only the awesome price He paid for our redemption, but also our responsibility as partakers of His grace and mercy. I would argue strongly that this is a not a one-way relationship. Our relationship with Him should also cause us to suffer. It is not enough to reap the benefits of joy, grace and peace; but also to express our gratitude and our witness to suffer for His sake. Every important relationship requires our willingness to share joys and sorrows. Certainly, if this is true it ought to be the way we look at Christ. It is a blessing to be able to suffer with Him. A portion of scripture in I Peter 4:13 that speaks of being partakers of His sufferings. The verse reads in this manner:
“Instead, be very glad–for these trials make you partners with Christ in his suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing his glory when it is revealed to all the world.”
This epistle begins by speaking about rejoicing in the knowledge that we are partakers of His sufferings. As believers, we share in Christ’s suffering through our experience of life’s persecution. Paul says that when His glory is revealed, we may also be glad with exceeding joy. To some extent, this is Peter’s version of Matthew 5:11: “Blessed are you when men shall revile you for my sake.” What an honor and privilege to suffer for the sake of Jesus Christ without complaining, but with joy. Let me add, suffering with Christ cannot be confused with burdens and cares that come with life, but rather our willingness to stand in the face of opposition for the sake of Christ.
I Peter 4:13 (NLT)