Friday, January 29, 2010
Rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings. 1 Peter 4:13
The sufferings of Jesus were not the 'ordinary' kind of suffering that mankind faces. He suffered according to the will of God. It is only when we are related to and abiding in Jesus that we may become partakers of Christ's suffering. Only then can our suffering come under the hand of God and be transformed. Only then can beauty come from pain and ashes. Only then can our Lord make use of us in our suffering. Usefulness that stretches into eternity.
I have railed against the grief and suffering that was brought to my life. I have cried about how unfair it is. And I'm right. It is unfair. Yet, if I remain in that attitude, my suffering remains mine alone and can't be transformed. Jesus went to the cross without once uttering how unfair it was to die at the hands of man.. those He created!, for their very sin - when He alone was sinless. Talk about 'unfair'.
How can God have said to 'count it all joy' when trials and tribulations come at us? We cannot know exactly why God is taking us this way, but He knows. And as we become partakers in the sufferings of Christ, new life comes forth. Jesus' suffering is still affecting lives 2,000 years later.
I don't want my suffering to be an ordinary thing. I want to be able to look back and see His light and love poured out over it, sanctifying me and using me. I want to hear 'well done My good and faithful servant.' I want to bear my cross with grace and honor Him who asked me to bear it. Let not my heart faint within me.