KNOWING CHRIST THROUGH SUFFERING
“Even more, I consider everything to be nothing compared to knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. To know Him is the best thing of all. Because of Him I have lost everything. But I consider all of it to be garbage, so I can get to know Christ. I want to be joined to Him. I want to know Christ better. I want to know the power that raised Him from the dead. I want to share in His sufferings. I want to become like Him by sharing in His death. Then by God’s grace I will rise from the dead.”-Philippians 3:8-11
I get so much encouragement from the apostle Paul. He desired nothing more than to give his life for the cause of Christ. He wanted to understand the depths of what it meant to suffer well. He didn’t view his suffering as punishment nor did he blame God. Instead he saw it as an “opportunity.” An opportunity to “thank God” and an opportunity to “know God.”
I’ll confess and say, I’m not fully there yet. Meaning, A LOT of times in my own life when I am going through challenges and trials, my first reaction isn’t always to thank God and rejoice. A lot of times it goes something like this… “Why God? Why Me? Why am I going through this? Why did this have to happen? Lord I can’t make it through this. I don’t have the strength to keep going. Lord I don’t want to do this.”
Life is HARD.
Life is not always fair.
And life can hurt…
I mean REALLY HURT!
Life can leave us with unanswered questions and leave us in unsure moments. The reality is, every being that exist will suffer, go through challenges, and hurt in this life. But I challenge you as well as myself to suffer well and to use our suffering as an opportunity to “know Christ.”
“I consider everything to be nothing compared to knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.” -Philippians 3:8
What a sobering thought. Do we have that same mind set? Do we desire to know Christ? I mean really get to know Him? Do we place knowing Him above any and everything in this life? Whether we realize it or not, Christ desires for us to know Him. But with knowing Him, means knowing all parts of Him, including His suffering.
You WILL suffer in this life.
Yes, EVEN Christians will suffer.
NO ONE is exempt.
However, the joy of a Christian’s life should come from knowing that Christians suffer with purpose. Our suffering isn’t meaningless or fruitless, it’s GLORIOUS! Why? Because it brings forth an opportunity to show case the power of God in our lives and an opportunity for us to know the depths of just who Jesus is. How amazing is that? That’s why Paul could state these words,
“To know Him is the best thing of all. Because of Him I have lost everything. But I consider all of it to be garbage, so I can get to know Christ.”-Philippians 3:9-10
Have you ever considered that the dark pit of devastation that you’re in right now is presenting an opportunity for you to KNOW HIS COMFORT?
Have you ever considered that your unanswered questions and unsure moments is an opportunity for you to KNOW HIS FAITHFULNESS?
Have you ever considered your physical and spiritual sickness is the perfect opportunity for you to experience HIS TRANSFORMATIVE AND RESTORATIVE HEALING?
Have you ever considered your mental and emotional depletion and weakness is an opportunity for you to KNOW HIS AMAZING STRENGTH?
Have you considered that what you are suffering in this moment and in your life is meant for you to know the ASTOUNDING POWER OF GOD?
Whatever it is you’re suffering through at this time, THANK GOD and PRAISE GOD! Because friend, you have the marvelous blessing of getting to know the beautiful depths of your Savior Jesus Christ. Remember, “to KNOW HIM is the BEST thing of ALL.” Nothing compares and will ever compare. So, keep getting to know your SAVIOR, even through SUFFERING! Your challenges, trails, and sufferings are not in vain. It’s meant to further proclaim HIS name!
“So I am willing to endure anything if it will bring salvation and eternal glory in Christ Jesus to those God has chosen.” -2 Timothy 2:10