I recently came across the apostle Paul’s words in Philippians 3:
8 Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— 10 that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death…
The thing that struck me the most was Paul’s three-fold longing at the end of the passage:
- He longs to know Christ
- He longs to know the power of Christ’s resurrection
- He longs to share Christ’s sufferings, becoming like Him in His death
I think every Christian believer can identify with longing #1, to know Christ. But when I examine myself, if I’m honest, I have to ask myself,
Do you truly long to know the power of Christ’s resurrection and to share His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death?
This absent longing unsettles my spirit, as it ought to. It’s a shame that I can be content experiencing everything other than the power of Christ’s resurrection. And if I don’t know – by experience – the power of His resurrection, what makes me think I can or will share His sufferings? It’s only when we know the power of His resurrection that we begin to share His sufferings and become like Him in His death.
This passage yields tremendous help in guiding our prayer lives in that it teaches us what to pray for. If you’re a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, will you join me in praying through this text? Let’s pray that we would…
- Know Christ
- Know the power of His resurrection
- Share His sufferings and be able to identify with Him in His death
…and may we give our eyes no sleep until we can identify with Paul’s longing, as well as Paul’s experience.