Yes you read that right... "join with me in suffering for the gospel". Paul wrote a letter of instruction and encouragement to his young protege that included the words, "join with me in suffering for the gospel".
I don't know about you, but I do not look forward to suffering. That's not accurate... I also know that you don;t either. Jesus, remember, prayed:
"My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will."
If you remember, Jesus prayed this three times (Matthew 26:42 - 44).
Being a Christian does not mean all your problems go away. In fact, it seems as if new issues arise because of our testimony for Christ. But more so for leaders.
Paul is writing to his young disciple and exhorting him to join in Christ's sufferings for the Gospel. Why?
"[God] has saved us and called us to a holy life."
There is so much we could unpack from this passage. But think on this last point:
It is God's purpose in saving people to conform them to the image of Jesus... and that includes suffering.
"not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace."
Think on these things... it might change the way you see your circumstances.