Greetings to God the Father, Son and Spirit, the blessed, wonderful angels (hi angels) and to all the saints in Christ. We saw in Matthew 16: 24-26 that Jesus killed His own natural desires to save His body in the following statement:

“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. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?”

Have you experienced the fellowship of His sufferings as a means of kiling the flesh? Let us continue to examine the checklist of His sufferings and see whether or not we have attained to these sufferings of the Lord:

  • In His crucifixion, He was dressed in the color purple and a crown of thorns was placed on His head, symbolizing that He was being crucified as the High Priest and King. Remember that we are called to be Kings and priests unto our God. If any of us will carry these titles and roles, we must be prepared to experience the same mockery (about the ministry), beating (verbal and psychological abuse) that He suffered.
  • Yes, Jesus experienced a form of domestic violence on the cross. I myself have experienced verbal abuse within the last 2 years given by people claiming to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Yes, the abuse was unexpected, words lying and the perpetrator feeling self justified in her own eyes. Our Lord was lied upon, beaten physically, His character was maligned and HE was taken to court by ungodly men for a crime that He did not commit. We may not be literally taken to court, but there are times when people spread unjust tales and it appears that the public scrutiny is intense. Sometimes people would attack for no reason at all and you can only wonder what on earth did you do? You did nothing, but the haters see Jesus in us so they have to crucify Him.
  • He was despised and rejected. Can we stand this test?
  • He was stabbed in the side and the thorns pressed into His head. Can we stand the backstabbings? I am writing at my own peril because I remember past and current crucifixions and know that the enemy already has plans set up. Paul called his own crucifixions “light afflictions”. Say what? In 2 Cor 4:17, he says that “our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory”.   What on earth was he talking about? Listen to the litany of his sufferings in 2 Cor 11: 24 – 33(which of us can bear this?):
  • “Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft. Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by [mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches. Who is weak, and I am not weak? who is offended, and I burn not? If I must needs glory, I will glory of the things which concern mine infirmities. The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is blessed for evermore, knoweth that I lie not. In Damascus the governor under Aretas the king kept the city of the Damascenes with a garrison, desirous to apprehend me: And through a window in a basket was I let down by the wall, and escaped his hands.” Heaven help us! Do you see how his sufferings closely resembled those of the Lord (even to perils among false brethren?).
  • Peter exhorted us to suffer for the sake of Christ in his revelations in 1 Peter 4:
  • “Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God. For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries: Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you: Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead. For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit. But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer. And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins. Use hospitality one to another without grudging. As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified. But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters. Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf. For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.”
  • I don’t like to suffer, but I want the “far more exceeding weight of glory”. I therefore throw up my hands in resignation. If I want the same exaltation, power and authority that He has, then I must go through the School of suffering. If I want to receive the things that eye hath not seen and ear hath not heard, then I must suffer. If I want the weight of the glory of the Lord to rest upon me and emanate through me, then I must suffer. If I am to put off the flesh then I must suffer. Suffering is designed to get us through to our glory.
  • Believe you me. Prayer and worship and the word are indispensable, but it is the fellowship of His sufferings that will crush the old, carnal man. Thank God that we have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin (Heb 12:4). That is in a physical sense, but sometimes we have to resist the devil – either its life for ours. That is how desperate the struggle becomes. This is one of the most serious blogs that I have written and I did not enjoy doing so. The cloud of witnesses is around ou to cheer us on and to encourage us in our sufferings. Let us therefore hold fast to our confession of faith, for if we suffer with Him, we shall reign with Him. Amen
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