In the last post, Part 1, one of the things we covered was what not to do when you’re suffering. If you’re suffering through no fault of your own, then don’t waste your time trying to ask why. It will make you turn inward and brood. That’s heaping misery upon misery, which is exactly what the devil wants because then you will be paralyzed and ineffective.
So send the devil packing.
Both Jesus and Peter explicitly stated that tribulation is part of the journey of living in this world until we get to heaven.
Nobody escapes it.
So don’t be shocked by it.
Paul, who never did anything half-way, took it a step further. He said he wanted to share in the sufferings of Christ.
There is a deep fellowship to be had with Jesus when we suffer.
Paul mentions three advantages:
1) Paul said he suffered the loss of all things in order to gain Christ. He gave up his Jewish lineage and education and status for the richness of knowing his Savior.
2) Paul no longer counted on his law-keeping to gain God’s approval. Instead, he threw that away for a life of faith in Christ because he wanted the Lord’s righteousness as his garment, and not anything he conjured up.
3) Paul’s life of faith depended on the power of Jesus’ resurrection and with that came suffering. Suffering the death of all things that the world esteems dear. Suffering persecution, rejection and humiliation for the sake of Christ. And finally, suffering in death itself.
There is a deep mystery in all of this and few enter into this circle.
If God calls you to this, you are indeed on sacred ground.