To Share in the Identity of Christ
Sharing in Christ's sufferings allows us to share in His identity. It makes us more like Jesus. We become partners with Him, and we partake in His glory.
"Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. Instead, be very glad—for these trials make you partners with Christ in his suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing his glory when it is revealed to all the world." (1 Peter 4:12-13)
In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus asked God if there was any other way. He asked if God could spare Him the suffering He was about to endure. Then, Jesus took up His cross. He said, "Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done" (Luke 22:42). We, too, must deny ourselves and take up our Cross - "Then Jesus said to his disciples, 'Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me'" (Matthew 16:24).
Taking up our Cross looks different for everyone. Sometimes it's enduring with grace a lifelong ailment or trial. Sometimes it's doing what you don't want to do, but what you know God wants you to do. Our "Crosses" in life are what make us more like Jesus. By sharing in Christ's sufferings through taking up our Crosses, we become sanctified in His likeness. This likeness is what prepares us for heaven.
Sharing in Christ's sufferings gives us hope, and hope gives us peace. This is what sustains our minds in this world of tribulation. And this is what leads us to say, "Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us" (Romans 5:3-5).
Brenda Rodgers considers herself a “recovering single” after years as a single woman chasing after marriage instead of chasing after Jesus. Now her passion is to mentor young women to live purposefully and grow in their relationship with God and others. Brenda has been married for five years to a heart transplant hero and is the mom of a toddler girl miracle. She is also the author of the eBook Fall for Him: 25 Challenges from a Recovering Single. You can also read more on Brenda’s blog, www.TripleBraidedLife.com and follow her on Twitter and Facebook.
This article is part of our larger resource library of popular Bible verse phrases and quotes. We want to provide easy to read articles that answer your questions about the meaning, origin and history of specific verses within Scripture context. It is our hope that these will help you better understand the meaning and purpose of God's Word in relation to your life today.
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