The first aspect of partnership is that we are partners in the gospel (see my last blog). The second aspect of partnership is that we are partners with the Holy Spirit (Philippians 2:1 – 2).
Partners in the Holy Spirit are in relationship with one another, regardless of time and distance. The Holy Spirit is not limited by time and distance. Even though the missionary is separated by 10,000 miles and several time zones from the partner(s), that does not prohibit partnership from happening. Partners are like-minded, have the same love, are one in spirit and purpose. Distance isn’t the issue. Partnering with the Spirit is the issue. What is He saying we should do? Then, we do it!
Children are suffering in Zimbabwe. Many are being trafficked out of the country to other African countries, the Far East, Europe, the U.K., even the U.S.A. Widows are suffering without adequate incomes, yet trying to take care of their children, or grandchildren, or even great-grandchildren. The Spirit has led us to transfer from Malawi to Zimbabwe. We go knowing that God loves each Zimbabwean and wants to transform their lives.
"Partners are like-minded, have the same love, are one in spirit and purpose"
In particular, Paul focused here on the characteristic of suffering. Suffering is an opportunity for Christʼs love and life to be shown to those who suffer. Suffering people need to know there is a Savior who has suffered, too. They need to know their is a Savior who understands what they are experiencing. And, they need to know this suffering Savior can transform them, even if their circumstances are slow to change. When we reach out to suffering people we do so as partners in Christʼs experience because we know that He suffered, but that He also rose in victory. That produces hope!