Knowing Jesus in the “fellowship of His sufferings” (Philippians 3:7-11) was a goal that Paul had in his heart at one point in his life.
A lime has a much greater impact on the aroma in a room if you scrape its skin or cut it open. Being bruised by serving Jesus causes us to have the power to change the atmosphere around us if we wear it with humility and love. If all it causes in us is bitterness, that produces a less Christ-like aroma…
I find it hard most of the time to speak in public about the love and sufferings of Jesus on our behalf without being brought to tears. Speaking about the way He has lifted us into positions of honor in His household from being His enemies breaks my heart on days.
I asked Him once when He was going to heal me of that brokenness. I believe that His response was to ask me if I wanted to stop being useful to Him.
But thanks be to God, who always puts us on display in Christ, and spreads through us in every place the scent of knowing Him. For to God we are the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. To some we are a scent of death leading to death, but to others, a scent of life leading to life. And who is competent for this?
(2 Corinthians 2:14-16 Holman Christian Standard Bible ®©)