I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death…. (NIV)
While many of our brothers and sisters in Christ will indeed share in Christ’s sufferings, even to the point of torture and death, the vast majority of Christians in the West do not face physical suffering for the faith. How, then, can we join Paul in pursuing this kind of Christ-likeness?
We turn the channel when there are inappropriate images that prompt us to sin. We refuse to allow our children to watch inappropriate shows or play inappropriate games. We do not hesitate to speak the truth in love on social issues of our day. We let our light shine before men that they may see our good works and glorify our Father in Heaven. (See Matthew 5:16.)
Make no mistake. Ours is not a culture that supports this kind of life. Temptation lurks on every channel. Our children will be mocked. Our friends and co-workers will become angry with us, and it is not impossible that we will lose our jobs. Faced with such consequences, are you ready to say with Paul that you want to know Christ by sharing in His sufferings and becoming like Him in death?
Lord, grant me courage to be the Christian You have graciously called me to be. It is not easy where I live, but I know You will grant me the grace and strength to be salt and light. Help me to bear well my sufferings for the name of my Lord Jesus. In His name I pray, amen.
Copyright © 2010 by Steven R. Perkins