“All I want is to know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, in which I became like Him in His death, that I might be raised from the dead.” Philippians 3: 10-11
Which life do you want? A life full of comfort or a life full of suffering? Of course, for all people who are faced with just two choices, they will choose the first. Who wants to live in suffering? However, many wise people want them not to be too rich or too poor. Why is that?
Humans often face problems in two circumstances: too rich and too poor. Proverbs 30: 8 begs God that He does not give poverty or wealth. He asked God to let him have enough if he could enjoy the food that was part of it. Why is it so? The writer in the next verse explained: “So that if I am full, I will not deny you and say, Who is the LORD? Or, if I am poor, I steal, and defile the name of my God.”
Of course, the meaning of wealth and poverty is different for each person. Each person’s measure of sufficiency and deficiency is not the same. There are people who are already rich, but still want to be richer. There are people who are abundant but still do bad things to get even richer. Conversely, many people suffer so much that they deny God. In addition, there are also people who are poor but their lives are full of happiness.
Which do you want in life? Live in success and luxury or live simply and struggle? Maybe there are people who do not mind tough life , as long as there is happiness and peace. This is true, but how? How can we feel happy, feel enough, or not suffer if other people’s lives seem more comfortable in abundance? This question is not easy to answer.
The Apostle Paul in his letter to the Philippians wrote that he wanted to know Jesus so that he could get answers to the questions above. This is a wise act that returns to the basis of true faith. Back to the basics. As Christians, we are followers of Christ and therefore we should follow in His footsteps through this life.
What can we imitate from Jesus? Paul wrote that Jesus had two sides of life: suffering and glory. Through His suffering, Jesus received glory from God the Father. Through His sacrifice on the cross and His death, He was resurrected and ascended to heaven. Paul wanted such a life so that he could imitate Jesus. Paul desired to know Jesus and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship in His sufferings, so that he would be like Him in His death, so that he could finally live in victory. Because Jesus had two sides of life, Paul also wanted to be like that.
This morning, if our lives have been filled with abundance and success, is there still willingness to struggle, suffer and sacrifice for others? Is there our desire to be like Jesus who obeyed the Father’s call to sacrifice Himself for human salvation? And if we are currently living in suffering, are we aware that Jesus, the Son of God, had experienced a far greater suffering to replace us? Like Jesus, every Christian must take up the cross and follow Him. Like Jesus who has received the glory, all our hard work will ultimately produce eternal happiness.