that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, (ESV)
There are many people who fill church pews every Sunday who have no concept of what the Apostle Paul is saying in this verse. They claim to know Jesus, but the way that they live their lives proves that they are not living to know Jesus. They are going to church to show to those around them that they are important. They are not identifying with who Jesus really is.
The Apostle Paul says that he wants to know Jesus, and then he follows that statement up with what knowing Jesus truly means. As you read the words that Paul uses ask yourself if you would like to know Jesus as Paul describes Him. Do you want to identify with Jesus' resurrection power, sharing his sufferings, and becoming like him in his death?
Many people love the idea of identifying with Christ's resurrection power. We sing about God's power. We post facebook quotes about God's power. We forget that we are to share in Christ's sufferings and death in addition to sharing in his resurrection power. Paul had experienced great suffering and viewed it as a means of drawing closer to Christ, and getting to know him more.
I want to invite you to know Jesus. Knowing Jesus means identifying with everything about him. That includes his suffering. You cannot have the victory of his resurrection yet deny the reality of his suffering. Our trials are not to be avoided, but rather embraced as we rely on our wonderful Savior to bring us through them. In the process we will get to "KNOW" Jesus.
Do you know Jesus? Are you trying to claim Jesus' victory resurrection power while denying the reality of his suffering? Draw close to Christ. It will involve suffering. But you will get to know Him!