The Fellowship of His Sufferings
“Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life,” 1 Timothy 6:19.
Are you tired? Are you weary? Are you worn out from the battle?
Come to Jesus. He is the resting place,
“Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” Matthew 11:28.
Cast all your cares upon Him, because He cares for you. What a promise this is from The Word of God! Jesus will help us in our time of need! He,“….. is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1).
In a world that is spinning out of control — in lives that are seemingly spinning out of control — turn to The One Who is able to save you — The One Who is able to help you — The One Who is able to intervene and bring you through stronger than ever before.
This is how our walk is. We go from glory to glory,
“But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of The LORD, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of The LORD,” 2 Corinthians 3:18.
This Christian life is a struggle. It is a battle. Some may not concede or admit that they toil, but the Truth is, all followers of Christ partake in the,
“…… fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;” Philippians 3:10.
If we are following Christ, seeking after righteousness, we are going to be troubled and alarmed when we face situations that cause us to question our Faith.
“Question my Faith, you say? What do you mean by that? I’ve never questioned my Faith!”
That’s great if you can say this, but, when I read The Holy Scriptures, I am sometimes impressed to wonder if I’m really where Christ wants me to be.
No, I’m not saying that we can work for our salvation, because we cannot. Yet, some in the Body of Christ are so lax today over spiritual matters that they seem to have no concern at all for anything.
hey will accuse you of being under the law if you so much as profess concern for anything involving or related to your faith.
We are saved by the grace of God, and I PRAISE GOD FOR THAT! I don’t have to crawl on glass, walk on coals of fire, take a dip in the Ganges River, or pray so many times a day to a god I don’t even know, to be saved.
No, I cannot work for my Salvation, and neither can you! What we do have to do, contrary to all the naysayers, and even though it is taken right out of Scripture, is,
“…. work out your own salvation with fear and trembling,” Philippians 2:12.
This was not written to those under the law in Old Testament times. It was written by the Apostle Paul to the New Testament Church at Philippi.
Thus, it applies to us today. Paul is not saying that we must work for our Salvation, but we are to work out our Salvation as we go along, fighting this good fight of Faith — and that’s what it is — a fight to the finish.
It is a battle on every side. About the time we think we’ve got everything going the way we want it, life comes up and slaps us on the face, and we realize the happiness we had yesterday has turned into a concern over how we’re going to face the trial we’ve encountered today.
You might say that I am weak for stating such things. There would be some that may laugh and scoff, boasting they never encounter any troubles.
All I can say is, it just doesn’t work that way for me, and interestingly enough, neither did it for the Apostle Paul,
“For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life,” 2 Corinthians 1:8.
Neither did it for the Apostle Peter,
“Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you,” 1 Peter 4:12.
Neither did it for the Apostle John,
“I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ…” Revelation 1:9.
Need I say more?
Folks are always quick to interject that God wants you to prosper. Well, yes, that’s right, even as our soul prospers!
We got to make sure that we’re right with God! God will bless us, and does so in miraculous ways, but that does not mean that we should never experience any down time.
In other words, that doesn’t mean that we go through life untouched, without having to deal with troubles.
If we truly with open eyes look at the examples from Scripture, we will have to admit that trials and tribulations are part and parcel with the Christian life.
It was for Paul, Peter, and John — and it was for Jesus — Who was The One that said,
“……. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world,” John 16:33.
He also said,
“Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you,” John 15:20.
Any time I get into a discussion with somebody about these types of things, it is always as if they assume that, because I simply preach what The Word of God teaches in regards to trials and tribulations, that I must want to go through them myself.
Brethren, I can clearly tell you, I don’t desire to go through hard times. I would much rather avoid them, but the simple Truth of the matter is, our Bible talks all about them.
The Writer of Hebrews addresses this,
“Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous,..” Hebrews 12:11.
It’s not fun to go through difficult times, and the Bible confirms this, but that doesn’t mean that we won’t. In the Kingdom of God, there is always a reason for the things we go through.
The Writer of Hebrews goes on to tell us why,
“… nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby” Hebrews 12:11.
God doesn’t want to just see us suffer, but there are reasons that we do. Paul addressed this to the early Christians in the Book of Acts,
“Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God,” Acts 14: 22.
He also talked about it at length in the beginning of 2 Corinthians.
No one wants to suffer, including me — at least our flesh doesn’t want to suffer, but in the Kingdom of God — we will. We are suffering with Christ,
“…. being made conformable unto his death,” Philippians 3:10.
We see the things going on in this world, and it grieves us. We try to find a place that we fit in, and we don’t find it. We see Scripture that convicts our soul, and challenges where our faith really lies.
Don’t say you should never question your faith. Paul instructs,
“Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith,” 2 Corinthians 13:5.
The Psalmist says,
“Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting,” Psalm 139:23-24.
It is Jesus that searches our heart,
“…. and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works,” Revelation 2:23.
Knowing that Jesus looks in and through us ought to give us motivation to live a holy life. It ought to compel us to a life of prayer, fasting, and immersing ourselves in The Word of God.
Scripture tells us,
“It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God,” Hebrews 10:31.
I don’t want to fall into His hands! I will gladly fall into His loving arms of mercy, but I do not want to be found naked before Him at His Coming!
I do praise God that we are saved by His Grace,
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast,” Ephesians 2:8-9.
If we had to earn it on our own, none of us would make it. Yet, let us never take our salvation for granted, but let us
“…. earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints,” Jude 1:3.
We know that until Jesus comes and takes us Home, there will be a war going on,
“For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would,” Galatians 5:17.
But let us take heart that Jesus is,
“… the.captain of (our) their salvation,” Hebrews 2:10) and,
“… the author and finisher of our faith, ” Hebrews 12:2), and that,
“… according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;” Titus 3:5.
Blessings to you all in The Name of Jesus Christ.
To Him, be Praise, Honor, and Glory forever. Amen!
~ Rich Fyke
Rich Fyke of Eternal Life Ministries is a watchmen, pastor, and Bible teacher, with a specific calling to wake up the end time Church. His desire is to prepare the people of God for The Coming of The LORD and for the things leading up to His Coming.
Eternal Life Ministries also operates on YouTube and Facebook.
Excellent post! Thank you!
I have had a surprising amount of suffering in my life, at times in the past nearly unbearable, and I had to soul search was this Gods plan for me or was it due to the identifiable sins of omission by others close to me? I believe it was not Gods will or plan I should suffer in life as I did but Jesus suffered on the Cross at Cavalry for my sins and shed blood for me that I might have life everlasting so I have learned the powerful lesson and act of forgiveness. Matthew 6:14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you
Spot on and something we need to continually remind ourselves of as we walk through our trials that test our faith. Even though we know better, it is easy to look at the wind and start to sink when we need to keep our eyes on Jesus and totally trust in Him.
Thank you for this.
Those who boast that they never go through troubles may be using their own natural strength and reasoning to sidestep trials. “Apart from Me you can do nothing.” Everything we do apart from Him amounts to nothing, including taking shortcuts to get out of trials. We must go through trials and difficulties to bring us to the end of ourselves. The Father is trying to make us understand that the Only Way is in His Son. The answers and solutions are found only in His Son. It is true that we must work out our own salvation, but the passage goes on to say, for it is God who works in you both to will and to work for His good pleasure. It has to be All Him, for no flesh should glory in His presence, see 1 Cor. 1:29. We can be encouraged that it is He who is working in us, and also the Lord Jesus told us, “I always do the things that are pleasing to Him.” see JN. 8:29. We can rely on Christ in us to always do what pleases God through us. There is one caveat: we must daily accept this fact, we no longer live, but Christ lives in us.
Spot on sir!!