"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
As Jesus was in this world--even so must we be. We must have fellowship with Him in Hissufferings--that we may be conformed unto His death.
None can be like the Man of Sorrow--unless they have sorrows too! How can you be like unto Him who sweat as it were great drops of blood--if you do not sometimes cry, "My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death!"
Do not think, O beloved, that you can be like the thorn-crowned head--and yet never feel thethorn!
Can you be like your dying Lord--and yet be uncrucified?
Must your hand be without a nail, and your foot without a wound? You cannot be like Him, unless like Him you are compelled to say, "My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?"
God is chiseling you--and you are but a rough block. He is making you into the image of Christ--and that sharp chisel is taking away much which prevents your being like Him.
Must He who is our head, be marred in His visage by reason of grief--and must we forever rejoice and sing? It cannot be! "We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God." Acts 14:22
Sweet is the affliction which gives us fellowship with Christ.
Blessed is the plough that ploughs deep furrows--if the furrows are like His.
Blessed is the mouth that spits upon us--if the spittle is from the same cause as that which defiled His holy face.
Blessed are the nails and thorns, and vinegar and spear--if they but make us somewhat like Him, in whose glory we shall be partakers when we shall see Him as He is.
This is a matter which all cannot understand, for it is a path which no unhallowed foot has trodden, and no careless eye has so much as seen it. But the true believer can rejoice therein, for he has had fellowship with Christ in his sufferings.
"To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in His steps!" 1 Peter 2:21