His Love: Sharing in His Suffering

Print

Instead, rejoice as you share in the sufferings of the Messiah, so that you may also rejoice with great joy at the revelation of His glory.
1 Peter 4:13 HCSB

I always had a narrow view of sharing in the sufferings of Christ. I thought that these sufferings were relegated to the persecution and scorn attributed to standing for Him and His Gospel.  For instance, receiving negative backlash with a joy imparted through the Spirit.  Or perhaps turning the other cheek when someone slaps you, or giving your coat when someone sues your shirt off.  But today I’m seeing an expansion of this scripture because of the suffering His Love endures.

His Love and Christ’s Suffering

His Love and Christ's Suffering
You see, Love is a force so powerful, so radiant, that it calls men to respond from the heart.  We will either reject it or receive it, and amazingly, there’s really no middle ground.  So how does this relate to the sufferings of Christ? In two ways.  First, unrequited love ­– a love that is not received nor returned – is a very painful suffering to encounter. It’s one thing to have your opinion or thoughts rejected, it’s quite another to have your love rejected and be left out in the cold. Love is so tied to our hearts. It embodies such emotion and investment. We don’t love passively—we love vulnerably. It’s an opening in our beings to our very core, and this is precisely what God risks in loving us—pain and the rejection of unreciprocated love. This is a suffering by which He allows Himself to be impacted. And I too am asked to carry His love, even through its rejection.

Love unreturned is an agony He’s suffered daily since the Garden.  And it’s excruciatingly painful. He’s willing to set His heart out for such abuse.  And as He is in me and I am in Him, He calls me to love with His love. It’s often to the loveless and unresponsive. This is one aspect of sharing in His suffering that I don’t naturally associate with the fellowship of suffering.

Sharing in His Suffering

Sharing in His Suffering
The second thing I’m seeing is less negative and more affirming. Love hurts, even when it’s returned! There is a pain in loving that He asks us to embrace. When we embrace His love for another, our world is rocked. There’s also a pain in carrying His love that I don’t naturally associate with it. It’s that ache of longing. It’s that pain of yearning. Love is even emptiness at times. And it’s not just when loving the resistant; there’s a daily ache and flux when carrying it for people open and receptive as well. Who would have thought that sharing in His suffering would include His own pining to love His children?

Love is so God that the world can’t remain the same in His presence. All those in the vicinity of love feel it’s effects. Why would every human on this earth so passionately seek it if it weren’t such a force? We will even manufacture it to experience it.  God’s children are called to carry His true love and they’ll feel the wrack of its rejection and/or acceptance. Carrying His Love for those He chooses is a fellowship in His suffering! I know there are those who have carried it for me, and I too carry it for others. It’s a joy and an opportunity to know Him as we fellowship in His suffering.

That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death.
Philippians 3:10 NASB

Comments:

Posted by Laurie
September 5, 2016 at 9:12 am

So true…as I was reading this I literally smelt roses so strong. Immediately I saw the most magnificent red rose extended towards us ❤ this message is very fragrant 💎⚘
I keep thinking about joy in the midst of suffering. Our greatest gift is having the hope/promise He gives us (which becomes our joy) in the suffering and the reassurance of His sustaining love even when we can’t feel it. I’d say the opposite of joy is not suffering
It’s dispare in suffering…
He never calls us to dispare in it ever but rejoice. It really has been a mystery to me for so long,this joy,in suffering. I’m blessed to have grasped pieces of it as the fullness of His love is being revealed to me.

Reply
Posted by Linda
June 24, 2014 at 9:35 am

That was eye opening.

Reply
Posted by Cindy Pollard
June 23, 2014 at 4:44 pm

Your message rings with the Spirit of a man who lives in love.

Reply
    Posted by Tammy
    June 24, 2014 at 6:28 am

    amen

    Reply
Posted by Tina
June 23, 2014 at 12:24 pm

For those of you who have Spotify listen to Redemption Rain (extended version) by Jonathan David Helser from the album Endless Ocean. Empty My Soul and other songs on this album are just as meaningful.

Reply
Posted by Tina
June 23, 2014 at 12:20 pm

How often do we come into worship, seeking and receiving His love, then leave and go back to the other pleasures, only to return and take again? God’s heart aches for our full love and affection, to be the recipient of our single-hearted love…so He gives unconditionally, slowly restoring us from the captivity of worthless things with His love that is precious beyond compare. Oh Father, forgive me, pursue me until I am fully Yours!

Reply
Posted by Susan
June 23, 2014 at 10:11 am

I never thought of it this way, but it’s true John. Happy you put the verse to the reality. Bless you.

Reply
Posted by Sam
June 23, 2014 at 10:08 am

Thank you John. Bless you my brother.

Reply
Posted by brother kirk
June 23, 2014 at 9:30 am

This post of John’s today is a “CALL” A call to love and a call to be loved and a call to respond and be caught by HIS LOVE. I say YES to the CALL.

Reply
Posted by Irene
June 23, 2014 at 8:22 am

Your words are a balm to my aching soul today. Thank you John.

Reply
Posted by Paul
June 23, 2014 at 6:59 am

After reading this, I can only say: SELAH!

Powerful, John, so very powerful…thank you!!!

Reply
    Posted by Irene
    June 23, 2014 at 8:23 am

    Yes Paul, Selah!

    Reply
Posted by Tammy
June 23, 2014 at 6:12 am

As I read your post, His love filled anointing is so heavy it lingers physically, leaving such peace in its wake it’s impossible to describe.

Some of the most intimate times of communion with our Lord are a result of His love for another (through us) which results in suffering. Not one minute of it would I trade.

Bless you John

Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *