Philippians 3:10…be a partner in his suffering (MSB)…I want to suffer with him(NLT). A lot of people became Christians because they thought it was a way to prosper, but when they didn’t get it, they run back. Know that christianity is not materialism; that a man has material things doesn’t make him a Christian. First, I want us to understand the terms fellowship and suffering. Fellowship could mean sharing, communication, contribution, togetherness, participation…partnership: that your are there for a person or people and understand their struggle, pain, joy…. while suffering is what we go through that accompanies hardship. Acts 14:21-22MSB…anyone signing up for the kingdom of God has to go through plenty of hard times. 1Thess 3:3-4AMP None of you should be disturbed…by these afflictions and difficulties…for this is unavoidable. The believers life is like that of a soldier. As he is sold out to his country, so are we sold out to the lord; verse 4 says that we are made to suffer afflictions. Philippians 1:29NLT it has been granted to you to suffer for him. So as you got born again, suffering was attached to it- it is a gift, so when you go through it, celebrate the privilege.
Why do we go through suffering? 1. To bring us to the ministry of comfort: We don’t enter this by understanding but by experience. The father consciously brings us I to this ministry so that he can be eternally grateful for us. Job was living in rumors of God; he was a just man, obeyed the lord and kept all his commands, but it was after suffering that he could say, “I admit I once lived by rumors of you, now I have it all first-hand.” Job 42:5. With this experience, the book of Job was written for us to learn and draw strength from. 2Cor 1:3-4MSB When you go through that crisis, it is because he wants to encourage someone going through it. God speaks to us in and through our experience so let us be attentive to hear. It got to a point in Paul’s life by experience that he could say, ‘I am persuaded.’
2. To bring us into order and maturity: James 1:2-4NLT when trouble comes your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. Why? Verse 3 when your faith is tested, your patience has a chance to fully grow. In Philippians 4:11-13 Paul said he knows what it means to have and not have and that had learnt the secret of being content, this means there was a point in his life he wasn’t content, but through hard times he was able to learn the secret of contentment; that he could do anything through Christ.
3. Suffering helps us to demonstrate the quality of our faith: Helps us to learn, lean and trust in Jesus. 1Peter 1:7AMP so that the genuineness of your faith (the devil is not after your life but your faith) might be tested. Whatever you go through tests the quality of your faith, but if you aim where you are going to, you will lose consciousness of what you are going through.
If we endure hardship, we will reign with him. Romans 12:13MSB Don’t quit in hard times!! God bless you