Why is it that Christ seems so near during times of hardship? It's "the fellowship of His sufferings" that Philippians 3:10 talks about. Does Jesus know about suffering? Yes, He does. So when we suffer, we feel an affinity with Him. There's a way that He draws near to us like in no other way; as Hebrews 4 says, "He's touched with the feelings of our infirmities." First Peter 4:13 says, "But rejoice insofar as you share Christ's sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed." Rejoice . . . rejoice. Twice in one verse, in the middle of a discussion on suffering, we're told to rejoice.
Why would I rejoice in my suffering?
Here's why: You share in Christ's suffering. You have a new understanding and new connection with Jesus. Some people say this verse is talking about a future time when we'll be glad when His glory is revealed to the world. It could also mean that we'll be glad when His glory is revealed in us - that we'll rejoice when we look in the mirror and see a different person, because the glory of Christ will be more revealed through our lives. Both options are pretty cool, and we can hold out this truth either way: there's a closeness with the Lord that comes through trials that doesn't come any other way. Rejoice in this opportunity.
I love the idea of sharing in Christ's Suffering and that brings me closer to Him. To be able to rejoice in my trials and view my hardship as a blessing. What a tall order. I know it can be done but only through Christ himself. If I sift through the emotions and reveal was it underneath it all I can see how such a thing could be true. But its the devil who keeps me stuck in my emotions and unable to see beyond them. God stands right beside me the whole way whispering the truths and reaching for my hand to guide me. But I have to stop and listen and then reach for a hand I can not see. FAITH tells me that hand is there for me to reach for. FAITH is what I need to focus on. God loves me so much that no matter what I have done in my life He has stood by me just waiting for me to be quiet long enough to hear him and finally reach for His hand. Lord I am there. I know I have only been meeting you half way in the last couple months but I am ready to walk hand in hand with you. Allow you to be my one and only guiding light along this path I walk. You and only you are my pathway to peace and when I finally stop taking the paved paths in front of me and stop to walk the path you reveal only then will I see how my hardships and trials have been blessings only looking back from Your way will I be able to see how far I've come, and wonder in amazement how the heck I made it through and my answer will be FAITH in the Lord. Thank You Jesus!