Paul lists all the qualities and privileges in his life that he could have placed his confidence in to impress God. He was a respected and zealous Pharisee living a ‘blameless’ life. However, after his encounter with Christ the source of his confidence changed . . .
“Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.” (Philippians 3:8–11)
Notice in this statement that Paul’s desire and goal was to know Christ, to be like Him so that whatever Christ experienced, he also experienced. He wanted to share His righteousness, His powerful life, His sufferings, and even His death knowing that Christ was the only way to live eternally.
Not too long ago, I was having a pity-party. A few disappointments had me feeling sorry for myself. However, the Lord took hold of me and reminded me that He suffered the same disappointment over and over again. The way others behave landed on Him to the point that He died for all that sin. He told me that He knew exactly how I felt, and invited me to share in His sufferings.
At this, a great weight lifted; His words had a profound effect. Instead of feeling sorry for me, I immediately focused on Him and on the privilege of knowing Him in a deeper way. I do not suffer alone but am yoked with my Savior. I know that He carries the load and being beside Him is a joy unspeakable, certainly not something to whine about.
Chambers talks about realizing Jesus in all that we do, whether eating or drinking, or washing the disciples’ feet. Realizing He is carrying my painful loads makes a difference no matter what they are. I am yoked with Him, yet He is carrying the whole load. Not only that, by His amazing grace, those sorrows become joy-filled.