I hope that everyone is doing great today. I am having a great day so far. I got to spend the morning with my wonderful daughter, and work has been light today. So I want to share this thought. The title today is from Philippians 3:10. Paul is talking to the members of the church at Philippi about how they need to be keenly aware of the fact that nothing compares to the power of knowing Christ. I think that it is important to remember that the verse does not end at the word “resurrection.” I think that Christians in America have fallen victim to believeing that Christianity is just this thing that we do one day, or two days at the most, every week. The fact of the matter is that Paul writes, “that I may know him [Christ] and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death” (Phil. 3:10). We are supposed to share in the suffering of Christ. The truth of it is that the more we suffer for the sake of Christ the closer we are to Him. The church is not suffering in the United States. I think that this has led to an atrophy of our spiritual muscles. Even if we say it, we do not really want to share in the suffering of Christ. If we did we would live vastly different lives. I think that we need to become consumed with Christ in our lives. We have to be honest with God in our prayer times. It is not like we are going to trick him into believeing that we want to share in Christ’s suffering. In order to be the Christians that God wants us to be, and in order to be consumed with Christ, we have to share in the suffering and poverty of Christ. The question is: Are you willing to be honest with yourself and tell God either that you want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection without suffering and skipping the process or that you want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection and share in His suffering so that you can experience true fellowship with the Lord?
The American church has preached the prosperity gospel for too long, and it is the time for the people of Christ who understand that being a Christian is not always easy to rise up and help the rest of the country see that in order to share in Christ’s power we must share in his suffering.