“I, John, am your brother and your partner in suffering and in God’s Kingdom and in the patient endurance to which Jesus calls us.” - Revelation 1:9
We like the idea of "partners". Business partners. People who share with us in new endeavors. Its the idea of people we share something significant with. It carries a connotation of shared risk too. We both contribute something and we share the risks and the rewards.
God stirred John to use the word here in much the same way: "partner in suffering" (the risk) and "in God's Kingdom" (the reward). Can we have one without the other? Can reward ever come without someone facing risk? In the same way, you today may be facing some uncertainty - some risk. Things might not go as hoped. The best case may not turn out to be the actual outcome you hoped for. You can pull back and play it safe. Or you can recognize that things might get rough before they get better. However...
That's NOT the nature of this partnership spiritually - its NOT a gamble - the outcome is assured. The only risk is that you very well may have hardship in the short term but you can absolutely count on great reward in the long view. Christ has faced the ultimate suffering - we just share in identifying with him. Maybe standing in your faith today will make someone uncomfortable. In some places around the world today, it may cost someone their life. I think you're going to be okay. ;~) Be John's - and Jesus' - partner today. Don't shrink from the suffering - you are guaranteed part in His Kingdom.
"So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you! Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised." - Hebrews 10:35-36
Spark. Use it to light the way in dark places.
what is "spark"?
Its a small thing - like the flash on a spark plug that hopefully ignites something bigger to propel you forward.