The Apostle Paul, in the third chapter of Philippians, says, “that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.” What is “the fellowship of [Christ’s] sufferings”?
Jesus told His disciples that they needed to take up their cross daily and follow Him. Psalm 85 says, “Righteousness will go before Him, and shall make His footsteps our pathway.” We are to follow Jesus example for us. Jesus said in John 13, “… a servant is not greater than his master …”
The Apostle Peter said in 1 Peter 4, “Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God. For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles – when we walked in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries.”
The Apostle Peter went on to say, “Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy … Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter. For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God? … Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator.”
People around us suffer in many ways, and we should be praying for them, that God would have mercy upon them, and deliver them. Some children are horribly abused, domestic violence is rampant, there are many poor and starving people in the world, abortion still takes the lives of many unborn children, sex trafficking profits from selling human souls into bondage, many people are in slavery to sexual immorality. While we struggle with the sin of being effeminate, the sin of transgenderism, we have a lot to learn about suffering with Christ and suffering well.
Read: The Crook in the Lot, Thomas Boston, Soli Deo Gloria, 2001.