Daily Devotion: The Secret of the Christian Life

Philippians 3:10, …that I may know Him and the power of Hs resurrection, and may share His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death.

Christ revealed Himself—and the love of God the Father—in His suffering. God revealed Himself in the suffering of Christ; therefore, God reveals Himself to us in our own suffering. The secret to the Christian life is not escaping suffering (that belongs to Gnosticism), but Christ being present with us in our suffering. Suffering does not mean there is something wrong with you, or that your faith is weak, or that God is disappointed in you or has abandoned you. God is revealed in the suffering of Christ; therefore, God is most available to us in our suffering.

We are born into sin (Psalm 51:5). Life is suffering. The secret of the Christian life is not that we no longer suffer, but that Christ meets us in our suffering. It is no wonder, then, why Paul here looks forward to sharing in Christ’s suffering, for whenever the Christian suffers, there he meets Christ. It is also no wonder why Paul writes to the Roman Christians, “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. For whilst we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly” (Romans 5:3-6).

The secret of the Christian life is that our suffering brings us to our hope that is in Christ, who suffered and died for us in order to bring us into new life via the Holy Spirit’s baptism (Romans 6:3-5).

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