We rejoice in so far as we share in the sufferings of Christ. Jesus’s own life serves as the pattern for all Christians. Following Jesus will inevitably involve imitating him in both sacrifice and suffering. We ought not be surprised at suffering and adversity. Instead, we must recognize that suffering for the cause of Christ is one of the great privileges given to those who represent him in this world.
Rather than being a badge of shame or dishonor, suffering for the cause of Christ is a privilege for all who belong to Christ. We represent him in the world, and as his followers, we will be treated with contempt even as he was. As he was, so are we in this world.
Thank you, Father, for the privilege of serving Christ. He gave everything to do your will, and suffered greatly in order to win us back to God. Now, let us stand for the Lord and give us a mind to suffer for him in the things we do and say. In Jesus’s name, amen.
The holy priesthood is to live holy lives before God and the world (1 Peter 3:12), allow their good works to bring glory to God (1 Peter 2:12) and even use worthless good conduct as means of winning unbelievers to Christ, even – or especially – within the context of suffering. Believers are being formed into a community of sanctified priests whose purpose is to worship God in the spirit by the performance of sacrificial deeds.
~ Uche Anizor and Hank Voss, Representing Christ. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2016. p. 47.
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Anizor and Voss, Representing Christ
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National Day of Prayer: Monday, September 12, 2022