• “In the darkest of nights cling to the assurance that God loves you, that He always has advice for you, a path that you can tread and a solution to your problem–and you will experience that which you believe. God never disappoints anyone who places his trust in Him.” – Basilea Schlink

The Fellowship of His Sufferings by Helen Roseveare

I know that the evening that I came to know the Lord Jesus as my Savior…seven o’clock in the evening, and I was at a youth house party over the Christmas holidays from college.  And I went downstairs to evening meeting and somebody said, “What’s happened to you?”  And I guess I was so overwhelmed at the wonder that God loved me so much He sent Jesus to die for me.  And I was given a Bible.  It was the first Bible I ever owned.  And the man who had been doing the Bible studies at the house party, Dr. Graham Scroggie, wrote in the flyleaf of my Bible “Philippians 3:10”. 

For some of you today I’ve been signing books, and you’ll find “Philippians 3:10” is written in them because that was my verse which was given to me.  And he said to me…he quoted the verse first, “… that I may know Christ, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings being made conformable unto His death.”  He said, “Tonight you’ve started that verse ‘that I may know Christ’.”  He said, “My prayer for you in the years that lie ahead is that you’ll know more and more of the power of His resurrection.”  And then he said very quietly, he was a very straight and upright man, very quietly looking straight at me, he said, “Maybe one day God will give you the privilege to know something of the fellowship of His sufferings.” 

I’d been a Christian half an hour and I was told that it was a privilege to suffer for Jesus!  And that word ‘privilege’ has stayed with me.

I’d been a Christian half an hour and I was told that it was a privilege to suffer for Jesus!  And that word ‘privilege’ has stayed with me.  I think possibly more than any other one word in my Christian life ever since is ‘privilege.’  It’s a privilege that He saved me.  It’s a privilege that’s He’s allowed me to have any part in talking to others about Him.  Everything has been privilege.  And the fact that I was told the same night that I came to know Jesus as my Savior that it’s a privilege to have fellowship in His sufferings. 

And I just fear that in today’s climate we…that’s any of us who have the privilege of speaking to others, encouraging others to accept Jesus as their Savior, we don’t underline straight away that the Christian life will involve suffering!  That in our country we don’t really know what persecution is…we may get jeered at, cold-shouldered, laughed at; but we expect in muslim countries, we expect new Christians to accept suffering, and we think it’s very marvelous of them.  We don’t think about it for ourselves.  But we should all of us know that if we love the Lord Jesus, He himself said, “If you’re going to follow Me, take up your cross and follow Me.”  And where was He going? He was going to Calvary, and we have to follow Him there.  The ‘death to the self’ life, the death to my ambition, my rights to be who or what or where I wish—the giving of that over to Jesus and letting Him really live His life in and through us, in any circumstance, will involve suffering. 

The ‘death to the self’ life, the death to my ambition, my rights to be who or what or where I wish—the giving of that over to Jesus and letting Him really live His life in and through us, in any circumstance, will involve suffering.

I believe the Savior suffers today for the millions of unreached, untouched people who have never yet even heard His name.  And He invites us, and it’s such a privilege, such a privilege, to be invited to share with Him in His sufferings.  I’ve got no panacea to offer you.  I’ve got no way of saying you won’t suffer.  You will suffer!  You should suffer if you’re really a Christian because you’re going to be indwelt by Jesus and He suffers.

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“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.” (1 Peter 4:13)

“And if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.” (Romans 8:17)

 

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  • “There is nothing worth living for, unless it is worth dying for.” – Elisabeth Elliot

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[Jesus the Good Shepherd] Then Jesus said to them again, “Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. — John 10:7, 9-10 (NKJV)

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