Philippians 3:7-11 (NIVUK)
7 But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8 What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, 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 is through faith in Christ – the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. 10 I want to know Christ – yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.
The illustration of the Russian dolls develops further today. If we’re found in him (verse 9), then wherever he goes, we go, and whatever he experiences, we experience. This includes his death and resurrection, sharing in his sufferings and his power. I wonder, does this speak in some way into our experiences of suffering. We don’t seek them, and in and of itself, suffering isn’t good, but perhaps this helps us give context to our current suffering, it’s temporary and something we endure as we know that better things are ahead. Also, maybe it raises the possibility that just as Jesus was able to use suffering for good on the Cross, there might be opportunities for us to do so too.
Jesus, thank you were willing to suffer for us. Help us to endure and make sense of our suffering, and to find ways in which we can maybe use it for good, just as you did.