May 24, 2010

sharing in His suffering

Recently I read a passage from the Bible that I have put up on my white board. It comes from Philippians 3. You can read it HERE.

Like any other scripture I was trying to learn, I wanted God to teach me more about what that means. Wow. Not so smart on my part ;). Here's the dealy. I was expecting hardship, or pain, or drama. But no. I have been learning that one aspect to the fellowship of sharing in His suffering, and being like Christ, is on this side of heaven we will constantly be misunderstood.

You might be like, "Why is that suffering?" But look at it this way. Jesus was misunderstood by almost everyone He came in contact with. People were constantly sifting His "motives", Jesus was constantly under the microscope, Jesus was always being misjudged, misunderstood and especially, misquoted. Could you imagine being 100% completely right/holy (because your... duh! GOD) and people still not believe you? Or believe what you say? Or believe your motives? How frustrating must that have been for Him in many ways?

Now Jesus is God, and also Jesus was perfect, therefore He is blameless no matter what. I say this because even as Christ-followers we are all subject to the fall, so the point Im trying to make is my suffering is not exactly the same as God being misunderstood, but I digress.

Back to the point of the post... Have you ever been misunderstood? Have you ever had words put in your mouth? It hurts. It is heart-wrenching, especially when you care about the people involved. And I think the worst place for this can be in the church. Many times people (I am chief of sinners here) only see something from their limited perspective and are quick to throw up hands (either to fight or to give up). Both sides can actually be misunderstood. This too is part of the problem of the fall.

But I think as a Christian, it's going to be a given in our life to be misunderstood many times. I think this is one of the parts of the "fellowship of the suffering". This side of heaven is NOT perfect. We all fail, and we all fall short. And I guess the bottom line is many people will hold you up to a stringent standard, but not expect that from themselves.

So be it. I learned/am learning a hard lesson about being part of the fellowship of His suffering. So I have to praise Him in both good and bad. I trust that God will work all things to His end and for His glory. But this is a hard fact of life, it might not be on this side that we see that work out. But again, glory be to God.