That I May Know Him

That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead” (Philippians 3:10-11).

A Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) is a common occurrence with more advanced stages of Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Last month I had one. Two different visits to the Emergency Room (ER) for eleven total hours in the waiting area were very trying. Wheelchair, noise, fever, and pain all made me like a wet noodle. I honestly thought, “Lord if you want to take me home now, that’s okay.”

I am getting weaker and more worn down as my MS progresses. I am putting more and more stress on my wife, son, and daughter who care for me. I do not like being an added burden to those I love. I cannot be left alone. I am only out of bed now for two to three hours each day.

Am I the only person who suffers? Of course I’m not. I know my suffering pales in severity to many people. And now that I am over the UTI, I love life again and the opportunity God gives to exalt Jesus Christ. I am thankful for the privilege to continue knowing and growing in Him.

Trials are personal and unique to each individual. We all deal with them differently. I learned a long time ago to stop telling people what they could do to make things all better. That is an insult. And I see now how uncaring and unkind that is.

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The fact is we do not really know “everything” a person is going through. If we have something to say to a suffering person, may it be in the way of love and encouragement. Sometimes it is best to say nothing. But when we do speak may our words always be directed by Christ. Here is what I’ve learned. People like to hear they are loved, prayed for, have worth, and that they really matter. Discern the Lord’s will and let your words be directed by Him.

When I was in the ER this verse came to my mind. “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead” (Philippians 3:10-11).

The Apostle Paul’s passion is obvious. Christ and Christ alone. Notice as you read the Pauline Epistles this primary theme. And notice how Paul connects suffering to knowing Christ. Paul suffered. “Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft. Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches” (2 Corinthians 11:23-28).

And what does Paul desire in all of this life experience? “That I may know Him

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….” This too is our goal, believer. This too is our call. This is our life. I thought about this verse when I was in the ER hunched over with fatigue and pain in my wheelchair. I thought of Christ’s suffering for me and how my small trial paled in comparison to what my precious Lord did. But as small as my trial and suffering was, it helped me to identify with and exalt Christ. It helped me to know Him.

A peculiar thing occurred to me as I pondered this verse—the order. “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings….” You would think the proper order is suffering, then death, then the resurrection, then finally knowing Him. But the Bible makes no mistake.

That I may know Him

This is primary for the Christian. Knowing Christ enables us to know the power of His resurrection. Knowing Christ enables us to understand the fellowship of His suffering and how God uses it to fashion us to the image of His dear Son. Knowing Christ changes our perspective on life and equips us with a spiritual mind that opens our eyes of spiritual understanding. Knowing Him equips us with the mind of Christ and allows us to understand the Holy Scriptures. This should be our passion, our purpose, and our plan. “That I may know Him

….”

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The power of His Resurrection

If you will endure suffering in this life it will come from knowing the promise and power of His resurrection. This does not only refer to that final day of our glorious entrance into the eternal presence of our Lord. The power of His resurrection is upon you now, believer. And this was the prayer of the Apostle Paul for the believers at Ephesus.

In this prayer, Paul petitions that they might know, “…what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places

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…” (Ephesians 1:19-20).

Great and exceeding power is given to those who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. This power is according to the mighty power which God wrought in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and set Him at His own right hand. This power is yours, believer. You are in Christ and have been raised with Him. Therefore, death has no grip on you. You are victorious in Christ. Knowing this present reality alters our disposition and attitude. By faith, live in the power of His resurrection and let this lift you above those adverse circumstances life can bring. Find courage, strength, and hope in this great promise. Commit to knowing the power of His resurrection. It’s yours in Christ!

The fellowship of His sufferings

After we know Him and the power of His resurrection we can then endure suffering as a faithful servant. And when Christ is our life, suffering will come. We too will be rejected, scorned, mocked, and questioned for what we believe. As we make Christ known in all our ways we should all expect negative response.

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And if you should suffer from a physical infirmity, remember the suffering of Christ. Take the opportunity to fellowship with the suffering of Christ. Use your time of suffering to know Him. Suffering will become one of the greatest gifts God allows in your life because it will help you discover the fellowship of His suffering and teach you to rest in the sufficiency of Jesus Christ in the midst of the fiery furnace of trial and testing.

That we may know Him.



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3 Responses to “That I May Know Him”

  1. WhiteStone Says:

    Paul and the other disciples all experiencing suffering. And most of us will as well. It is good during those times to bend, to bow down before our sovereign God, for in our bending, our bowing, we appreciate most greatly that God is indeed watching over us and that He does indeed hold us secure in His hands.



  2. BarryJacobs Says:

    hey, good post and i also like your page layout too. Have bookmarked your site and will stop by again



  3. Chette Says:

    Forrest,

    I thank God so much for your life. it is such an encouragement to me. may he bless you more and more each day.

    I love you bro.

    Chette