Suffering for Others
I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ, for the sake of His body, which is the church.
Ministry is costly. When the heavenly Father wanted to save His creation from sin, He could find no other way except the sacrifice of His Son (Rom. 5:8). Scripture gives a stark picture of the price our Savior paid to obtain our salvation: “He is despised and rejected by men, / A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief” (Isa. 53:3). If Christ is your model for ministry, you cannot avoid going to the cross for the sake of others. Salvation comes with a great price, and if we are going to “take up our cross” and follow Jesus, then we must be prepared to go with Him to the place of suffering if that’s what it takes to bring salvation to those around us.
If our goal is to bring others to Christ we must be willing, as He was, to risk rejection. People may disappoint us, misunderstand our motives, even despise and persecute us. Our Savior did not let suffering prevent Him from being used by God to bring salvation to those He loved. Love for His Father provided all the motivation that was necessary. Are you presently experiencing hardship because of the ministry to which God has called you? Have you begun to wonder if the price you are paying is too great? Take a moment to reflect on the price God was willing to pay in order to bring salvation to you. Are you glad He was willing to do what was necessary? Will you not join Him in whatever is necessary to bring salvation to those around you?