When It Hurts

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Sharing the sufferings of Christ involves the experience of the deep emotions, agony, and passion he continues to experience for the least, the last, and the lost by his indwelling Spirit. All followers of Jesus were once least, last, and lost. When we forget that, we stop feeling.

– Dr. Mark Chironna

Victory and Suffering: Both

I have often felt I’ve been in the awkward position of having to choose between being with those who pursue a life of victory in Christ or those who glory in suffering.

My life verse has been, “…that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection…” The problem is that I cannot ignore the next part: “and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.” (Philippians 3:10-11)

Victory, yes, but suffering…

I came across this video by Ryan Matchett (one of the pastors at River of Life Church in Lethbridge, Alberta) talking about this problem. It’s about realizing the purpose and value of suffering without getting stuck there.

Thomas believed in Jesus enough to be willing to die with him. His doubt was about his difficulty transitioning from a willingness to suffer with Jesus to a willingness to also share in his resurrection. “When we don’t believe in resurrection in the midst of suffering we make agreement with death.”

This is well worth the 38 minutes of listening time.