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)
For years I did not understand the part of this verse that speaks of “the fellowship of His sufferings.” What does it mean to “fellowship” in His sufferings? I could better understand the “power of His resurrection” than the “fellowship of His sufferings.”
Then I began to ask, “Why DID Jesus suffer?” I realized that He suffered for the lost. Jesus suffered to the point that He was willing to die. When we enter into the fellowship of His suffering, we feel the way Jesus felt toward lost souls, and we become willing to die too.
Moses was willing to die so that his people might enter the Promised Land. He said to God, ‘If You’re going to erase their names from the book, then You might as well erase mine, too’ (see Exodus 32:32). Paul felt it, too, when he said, ‘I wish I could carry this curse and be cut off from Christ for the sake of my people’ (see Romans 9:3).
What were these men feeling? The fellowship of the Lord’s suffering! I believe that the Holy Spirit will let us enter into that fellowship of suffering for the lost
Dear heavenly Father, help us to remember that Jesus suffered to save the lost. Never let us think that we are too “spiritual” to have a burden for the lost. Thank You for helping us, by Your Spirit, to enter the fellowship of the Lord’s suffering. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.