“that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, 11 if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.”
To join a fellowship usually brings prestige or social recognition, such as a fellowship of doctors or an educational society. We even call gatherings for eating together fellowship. However, there is one fellowship that is sure not to bring social ease or prestige – the fellowship of Jesus’ sufferings.
But, while identifying with Jesus’ sufferings may not bring the praise of society, you can count on it bringing power, the power of the resurrection. What is it about suffering that caused St. Paul to be certain of such an alignment between power and suffering? Paul knew that if Satan was deprived of the greatest fear he could bring, the fear of dying, then he would have no power over humans.
By embracing the suffering of Jesus, a suffering that leads to death, we put Satan on notice that he can’t harm us. Not even the power of death can keep us from resurrection in Christ Jesus. With that confidence we can see why Paul said, “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Rom. 8:31)
So what are your fears today? If you want the power to face your fears with strength, then realize that any suffering that may come your way from what you presently fear is already a victory. Christians need not fear. St. Peter tells us, “His divine power has given us everything we need…” (2 Peter 1:3) We have victory in the resurrection power of Jesus Christ. Death truly has lost it’s sting.
Always remember, Christ is risen…and so are you!
Grace & Peace,
Almighty God, my Father, help me to see Christ’s resurrecting power at work in my life bringing victory of suffering and fear. Amen. Alleluia!