Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – February 26, 2018
That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death. Philippians 3:10, NKJV
Life is often uncomfortable. Messy, uncertain, disappointing and down right cruel. We seek the comfort of a career only to see our position go away in an organizational restructure. We desire comfort from a friend, but they are emotionally distant—preoccupied with their own pain. A sweet, young couple friend of our’s just lost their child 22 weeks into their pregnancy. Feelings of devastation, deep loss and anguish assaulted their souls—peace and comfort were absent in any form. Their souls ached and grieved. Thankfully, Christ compassionately invites a deeper level of intimacy with Him in our darkest hours of discomfort. The fellowship of His suffering.
What does it mean to know Christ in the fellowship of His suffering? Paul, the first Christian missionary and church planter, modeled a life not contingent on the things of this world to bring security, contentment and happiness. When the apostle suffered loss of reputation, health or the comforts of home—he sought a higher purpose and executed an eternal plan of prayer, evangelism, discipleship and service for the Lord. Paul’s fellowship with Christ was sweetest when life was the hardest. Through Christ, he grew comfortable with the uncomfortable.
“For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ” (2 Corinthians 1:5).
Denial is not a friend to your deep abiding in Christ, rather an enemy to intimacy. Suffering is not to be stuffed into the soul managed by quiet desperation, but processed in the open with a community who loves you and your Savior Jesus who died for you. Addressing hurt is an uncomfortable experience that leads to the comfort of Christ and His followers. Similar to explaining to a doctor your physical discomfort, so you ask the Great Physician to diagnose your spiritual and emotional condition. Uncomfortable honesty, facilitates a comforting community.
How are we conformed to Christ’s death? Death is uncomfortable to discuss and disconcerting to experience. Christ’s death was horrific, but He had to die to be resurrected and give us the comfort of His resurrected life. Thus, we conform to Christ’s death when we die to sin and live for Him. Our heavenly Father’s same power that raised His son Jesus from the grave is the same power that raises us up to walk in victorious, faithful living. We may be uncomfortable, but we grow to know Christ more in the fellowship of His suffering. By abiding, He empowers us to overcome our flesh, our sin and Satan. In Christ we grow comfortable with the uncomfortable.
“We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his” (Romans 6:4-5).
PrayerHeavenly Father, by Your grace I die to myself and lean into Your resurrected son Jesus to empower my life, in His name, amen.
ApplicationWhat discomfort do I need to address and trust the Lord to make me comfortable?
Related ReadingJob 42:5; Acts 7:55; Romans 8:32; 1 Corinthians 2:9, 15:17
Post/Tweet todayOur fellowship with Christ can be the sweetest when life is the hardest. #WisdomHunters #uncomfortable
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