The first two studies have taught us two vital components we need to put into practise in our life.
1. Strive to know Him- his whole character, and let Christ live in us
2. Develop His attitude of service
In this third study, we learn the great value of sharing in His sufferings and using our own trials to bring us closer to our Lord. Paul wrote in Philippians 3:10 “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death” Paul saw himself as sharing or fellowshipping Christs sufferings. Our Lord suffered dreadfully, both mentally and physically, during his life. We too, in our life, suffer many things which cause us, in some small way, to experience similar feelings to our Lord – humiliation, pain, heartache, to name a few. We know Our Lord understands our sufferings and so going to Him in prayer, sharing His pain and having empathy can bring us ever closer to Him.
A relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ means
1. Hard personal decisions
2. Personal change
3. Shining as lights (crucifying self)
4. Greater responsibility
Matthew 16:24-25 “Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.”
Take a moment to think deeply about how our Lord actually suffered and yet thought of others throughout it all. A wonderful example for us to follow.
1. Our Lord was not valued, he was despised and rejected – Isaiah 53:3
2. He felt the weight of our weakness Isaiah 53:4-6
3. He suffered physical and emotional pain Isaiah 53; 5,7
His example shows us how, we too, must deal with sufferings in our life.
1. We need to see it as an opportunity to grow and learn to live out our Lords character. Hebrews 5:8
2. Don’t focus on ourselves. See our trials as a sharing with Christ! Hebrews 12: 3 to 6
3. Don’t give in! Endure like Christ, knowing that God is working in our life, and will do right.
Hebrews 12:1-2,10-11 “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”
My notes taken mostly from bible study 3 of 5, “The Fellowship of His Sufferings” by Michael Wolstencroft, Rathmines Bible School September 2015