“But rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.”
that you partake of Christ’s sufferings
“Partake” means to have a share of, to share with, take part in with the implication of joint participation. We share in the sufferings of Christ. We share a mutual interest in suffering with Christ. There is a close relationship in facing adversity together. In some cases, football teams that go through trouble together draw closer together. Christians who go through a trial with Jesus draw closer to him.
We suffer now with him, but we will also share in his glory in the future.
Ro 8:17, “And if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.”
The New Testament uses the word “partake” in other passages dealing with chastening.
He 12:8, “But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons.”
We partake of divine discipline when we step out of fellowship. “Chastening” means child training. The purpose of child training is remedial, educational, and not punitive. God is not trying to get even with us. He never loses his temper and beats us out of losing control of his emotions. He educates us so that we will not make the same mistake again.
He 12:10, “For they [our parents] indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He [God] for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness.”
We partake of God’s holiness as a result of suffering.
We share more intimate fellowship with the Lord when we enter his suffering.
We are in partnership with the Lord’s suffering. We partake jointly in Christ’s suffering. We have no choice. This is what it means to be a child of the King. God thinks too much of us to let us get away with bloody murder. God cares too much to let us have our way. He is a Father who raises his children right.
Some children are left to shift for themselves. They grow up to populate prisons and asylums. However, in the family of God, our Father is faithful to us by discipling us when we go astray. His children do not intimidate him. He is not afraid to deal with us.
We are in partnership with Jesus, the Lord. Part of that partnership involves persecution.
Php 3:10, “That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death.”