Embracing the Fellowship of His Sufferings

“I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,” Philippians 3:10 (NIV)

In our walk with Christ, we often emphasise the joy of knowing Him, the power of His resurrection, and the abundant life He offers. However, Philippians 3:10 reminds us of another dimension to our relationship with Christ, one with which we would rather avoid—the fellowship of His sufferings. Whether we like it or not, suffering is not only a reality of the human experience, but one in which Christians are not immune. Whether physical pain, emotional turmoil, or spiritual battles, we all encounter suffering in various forms. Yet, as followers of Christ, we are invited to view suffering through a different lens – the lens of fellowship with our Saviour.

The apostle Paul writes from a deep longing to know Christ fully, even to the extent of sharing in His sufferings. This idea may challenge our natural instincts to avoid suffering, yet Paul recognised the privilege of identifying with Christ in His suffering. In embracing this reality, Paul reveals a mystery—a profound opportunity for intimacy with our Bridegroom. The original Greek term ‘koinonia’ conveys this deep fellowship with Christ. Paul desires this intimate relationship with his Saviour and acknowledges suffering as a pathway to this deeper communion. Tragically, without understanding the blessing suffering presents, we may miss the depth of knowing Christ available to us. Sharing in Christ’s sufferings enables us to grasp the depth of His love and sacrifice on our behalf.

Suffering provides a door through which we draw nearer to Christ, experiencing His presence and comfort amidst our pain.

As we reflect on Philippians 3:10, let’s embrace the fellowship of Christ’s sufferings with humility and gratitude. Let’s allow our suffering to deepen our dependence on Him, knowing that in our weakness, His strength is made perfect. And may we find comfort in the assurance that just as we share in His sufferings, we will also share in His glory

“(16) The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, (17) and if children, then heirs–heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with [Him], that we may also be glorified together.” – Romans 8:16-17 NKJV

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