Rejoice, the Lord is king
My hope is built on nothing less
The spirit breathes upon the word
How firm a foundation
Jesus keep me near the cross
Glory be to the father
[2:1] For I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you and for those at Laodicea and for all who have not seen me face to face,  that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God's mystery, which is Christ,  in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.  I say this in order that no one may delude you with plausible arguments.  For though I am absent in body, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the firmness of your faith in Christ.
(Colossians 1:24-2:5 ESV)
Suffering is all around us. It is a part of life, particularly for those who love the Lord.
Persecution will be part of the life of a Christian.
What does Paul mean when he says he is "filling up what is lacking in Christ's afflictions ". Paul is not saying that what Christ did is lacking. Paul sees his suffering as a ministry to God. It is his ministry of service. He does it for the sake of the church.
His ministry-----to make the word of God fully known.
He wants to make the mystery of God fully known.
For years the Jews thought of the gentiles as totally cut off from God. The only possible way a gentile could truly know God was by becoming a Jew....even if that was only as a second class Jew.
Paul's desire was that everyone know the danger they were in if they didn't know Christ. The mystery of God... Christ in you the hope of glory.
Paul's whole focus in life wax to make Christ known. Then to help those believers mature in their faithso they couldn't be fooled or sidetracked.
Philippians 2:25-30 what was lacking... Ephaproditus, brought through terrible danger, the gift of the people to him. But one of them risked his life to bring a sacrificial group. He brought his own self to be with Paul.
Our suffering for Christ is a personal presentation of Christ to people who don't know him.
This is a joy to suffer for Christ because it is a life grounded in Christ. A life grounded in Christ.
Are we living in Christ? Are we bringing people Christ?
Suffering for God is a hard thing, but is a joy when people see God.
Lord give me that kind of faith. That faith that will change the lives of those around me. Let me be offensive in a good way. Helping people to know who you are. This God is what I ask.