The journey this week has been very insightful and educative. We have been looking at the need to participate in the sufferings of Jesus Christ. Some Christians find it very difficult to accept the fact that suffering is part of the Christian journey. Many false doctrines have made some to believe that to suffer as a Christian is as a result of one’s sinful nature or lack of faith in Christ. This week’s lessons have taught us that, it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake (Philippians 1:29 NKJV).

We looked at Jesus Christ, as our perfect and ultimate example when it comes to suffering. In spite of all the sufferings He had to go through in the hands of the Jewish leaders for crimes He never committed, He remained focused and endured all the suffering just for the joy that was set before Him. This serves as a great example for us to remain focused and endure all forms of sufferings that come our way.

Using 2 Corinthians 11:23-28, we discussed how Paul participated in Christ’s suffering. He was beaten, stoned, imprisoned amongst others, but managed to endure the suffering, finished the race, and kept the faith. He didn’t allow what he faced to cause him to deny following Christ. He endured all suffering with a certain kind of joy in his heart. There is the need to stand tall above all challenges of this life. We then took inspiration from the story of Job and how he endured suffering despite losing all his Livestock, children and other valuable properties. He refused to curse God when his own wife advised him to do so. He teaches us that standing with God in suffering is possible for all believers.

Considering some benefits of participating in Christ’s suffering, we discussed that suffering helps us draw closer to the Lord. Also, suffering reminds us that this world is not our home and, last but not least, suffering prepares the believer for the future glory. We finally discussed the Christian’s response to suffering. This includes counting it all joy, the need to exercise patience and continuously tarrying in prayer. These must be the lifestyle of the believer.