The word for fellowship is koinonia. It means participation, intercourse, communion, distribution. It’s an intimate type of communion. Romans 8:17 tells us; “If indeed we suffer with Him; we may be also glorified together.” One might tend to think Paul was morbidly focused on suffering and death. NO! Paul was always faced with the possibility of martyrdom. Being a teacher of the Gospel was costly in Biblical times.
The goal of a New Testament follower of Christ was to live the “resurrection life.” Paul counted it a privilege to suffer for the the cause of Christ. He wrote verse 10 having experienced more suffering than we may ever experience.
Persecution is costly; however, Jesus says, “Blessed are the persecuted for they shall see the kingdom of God.” Can you wrap your head around this thought? Persecution equals blessing? That certainly doesn’t line up with the health and wealth American church’s definition of blessing.
We have not experienced persecution and suffering because of our faith, as have other countries. Becoming a Christian has not been costly in these United States of America. Is all of that about to change?
If we should lose our freedom of religion; you will still be free to stand up for Jesus. In the New Testament; Jesus said we would have to count the cost of being a Christ follower. Should you choose to stand up for Jesus in the face of persecution; just remember; the persecuted who are martyred will see the kingdom of God. That is the glorious end of the fellowship of His suffering.
Prayer in Motion:
Lord, thank You for these verses. I want to know You and the power of Your resurrection. If I should come to the place of being persecuted, I know You will grant me courage to endure, in the fellowship of Your sufferings. In Jesus Name. Amen