From Suffering to Resurrection Power
My goal is to know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, assuming that I will somehow reach the resurrection from among the dead.
Paul’s goal was to know Christ and to follow His example so He might know the power of His resurrection. I don’t think most of us can fully grasp the concept of the power of the resurrection. Just what kind of power can make the dead rise to new life, and how may we partake in it? Paul saw knowing this power as his goal, and he realized the secret to gaining this power was found in the person of Jesus Christ.
While it is easy for us to be conformed to this world and to agree to its standards, Paul sought to be conformed to Jesus’s death. Jesus went against the standards and religious systems of the world to do the Father’s will, and He exhibited great power in it. Paul wanted that same power at work in his life. Therefore, he learned to follow the example of Jesus, even if it meant being persecuted by the world. Paul’s letters still speak to us today, and his work is still alive, active, and sharper than any two-edged sword to cut to the very heart of our being. One day, Paul, too, will join in the resurrection when Jesus returns.
This same power is available to us through the Holy Spirit, which lives in us as Christians. The more we know Christ and follow His example, the more we will find the Holy Spirit working in us. The Holy Spirit always points us to Christ as the answer to our needs. As Paul learned, however, part of receiving power strong enough to raise the dead comes from participating in the fellowship of Christ’s suffering and conforming to His death. Jesus voluntarily surrendered to persecution, knowing full well what would happen. He always spoke the truth, even if it meant He would be punished for it.
Our stand as a Christian is becoming increasingly unpopular in this world that celebrates evil as good and calls good evil. To fellowship with Christ in this age means we will partake in His suffering. Do we want resurrection power enough to conform to His death in order to obtain it, or will we choose to live mediocre, unfulfilled, and miserable lives? Choose to know Christ and the power of His resurrection. While it may not be the easy road, it will lead us to the power to overcome this world and the “less than” life it holds for us.
Have a blessed day!