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To the Degree that You Share

May 31, 2019


To the Degree that You Share

Our Lord lets us go  through so many things  because of His love for us.     He made us and knows us better  than we know ourselves.     That’s something  to really think about  when we feel like life isn’t fair  — when life puzzles us — or when we feel  like God isn’t answering our prayers.

Some of our suffering is a result of our own wrong doing — like landing in jail  for drunken driving.     At such a time,  we can choose  to realize  that our jail time is a time to turn to God  in repentance  and strive to make some changes  in our lives  because God has loved us so dearly  in Jesus Christ.     In that way,  our shame and suffering  in jail can be a blessing  from God  that will draw us  into a closer relationship  with our Lord.     But,  if we choose to let our jail time make us bitter and resentful  towards God and society,  we will probably be in need  of more discipline time  in jail.     We don’t have anyone but ourselves  to blame  for our defiance  of what is good and right  for ourselves and others.

There is a different kind of suffering  that is common only to Christians.     When we suffer  that kind of suffering,  we should not be surprised — feel life isn’t fair — or feel like God isn’t answering  our prayers.     Peter talks about that kind  of suffering because  he had experienced it  and he knew  that all Christians would experience it.     Peter talks about it  in 1 Peter 4:12-16,

Beloved,  do not be surprised  at the fiery ordeal among you,  which comes upon you  for your testing,  as though some strange thing were happening  to you;  but  to the degree that you share  the sufferings  of Christ,  keep on rejoicing;  so that also  at the revelation of His glory,   you may rejoice  with exultation.

If you are reviled  for the name of Christ,  you are blessed,  because the Spirit of glory  and of God rests  upon you.

By no means  let any of you suffer  as a murderer,  or thief,  or evildoer,  or a troublesome meddler;  but  if anyone suffers as a Christian,  let him not feel ashamed,  but in that name  let him glorify God.

That is a mouthful.     Christians will suffer  just because they are Christians.     In the early church,  Christians were imprisoned,  tortured,  stoned to death,  and thrown to the lions,  just because they professed faith  in Jesus.     Society just plain ol’ didn’t like them  because they held to the standards  of God’s word — salvation by grace  through faith  in Jesus Christ.

That’s saying  only Christians will get to go  to heaven  because of their faith — so, the world will do whatever it can  to totally destroy  that kind of faith.     They want to annihilate  every thought of salvation  by faith,  because they want to think that they are good enough  for heaven  on their own merits.     And such is hate.     The world has never stopped hating Christianity,  because faith in Jesus alone  essentially condemns their self-righteousness.

Peter wants us to know  that we are sharing the sufferings  of Christ,  when we stand firm  in our faith.     Every situation is different,  but,  to the degree that you share  the sufferings  of Christ,  keep on rejoicing;  so that also  at the revelation  of His glory,  you may rejoice with exultation.”

When we stick  to the truths  of God  in every situation — and the world mocks us for it — we are sharing  in “the sufferings of Christ”.     Christ suffered as He poured out His love  to a sinful world.     He suffered rejection,  lies,  beatings,  mockings,  crucifixion — even as He was bringing our only means  of eternal salvation.     People did not appreciate His love  or the concept  of God’s forgiving grace.     The world felt it was demeaning  to admit  they were sinners  in need of grace.     And so,  they hated and retaliated — just as they do today.

When we experience the world’s hatred,  we are sharing  the sufferings of Christ”.     Each experience  of rejection  by this world is different.     Some still suffer death,  others mockings  or rejection  of friendship.     Whatever we share  in “the sufferings of Christ”,  we can rejoice,  because our Lord will exalt us  in all of eternity.

Knowing the wonders  of our Savior’s love,  we say,  “Hallelujah!     Lord Jesus, thank You  for loving us  even while You suffered and died  for our sins.”



A Christian devotional to glorify the LORD of lords and God of gods


Pray for our country.


This is the day which the LORD has made;
Let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Psalm 118:24


The word of the LORD is tried;
He is a shield  to all  who take refuge  in Him.
Psalm 18:30


Sing for joy in the LORD,  O you righteous ones;
Praise is becoming  to the upright.
Psalm 33:1


How blessed are those  who dwell in Thy house!
They are ever praising Thee.
Psalm 84:4


Just as a father has compassion  on his children,
So the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him.
Psalm 103:13


Oh give thanks to the LORD,  for He is good;
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
Psalm 107:1


Glory in His holy name;
Let the heart of those who seek the LORD be glad.
Psalm 105:3


Not that I have already obtained it, or have already become perfect, but I press on in order that
I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:12






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