Thursday, August 11, 2022

The Gift of Suffering

Thursday, August 11, 2022 Some material taken from Gospel Worthy Unity

For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake, engaged in the same conflict that you saw I had and now hear that I still have. Philippians 1:29-30

The Gift of Suffering

Salvation is a glorious gift that God has granted. And suffering is the means in which God is conforming us into the image of Jesus Christ. 

God has always grown his church amid persecution because there is something about the fearlessness of individuals who welcome death. 

They were sold out. The saints whose stories fill the pages of the Bible, they were literally willing to give their own lives for the advancement of the Gospel, and many of them did. But their suffering was not in vain because their stories of faith formed the foundation of the church as we know it today. 

Jesus’ death was the ultimate example of suffering for the good of others and the advancement of His Gospel. He gave His life so we could have everlasting life – He suffered and died for us. Those who followed in His footsteps, who were His disciples, learned from being in His presence. They were passionate about spreading salvation to all and they were willing to suffer to do it. 

We have all been called to persevere under persecution. We have been free to witness to others in this country but that may not always be the case. Very soon we may be put to the test as to how willing we are to share the gospel. Would you be willing to risk your own life so another could have the gift of salvation? It is crazy to think that we may really have to make that choice in our lifetime. 

Paul tells the Church in Philippi that they will have to suffer for the sake of the Gospel. Christians were being persecuted and Paul himself was in jail for “religious troublemaking’” and facing the possibility of death. Paul wanted them to know that God had not abandoned or punished them, but had granted them suffering, to be used for His glory. He wants them to see their suffering as a gift or a privilege. If you are being persecuted for being a Christian then you are doing something right. Your faith is obvious to those around you. 

Engaged in the same conflict that you saw I had – The Philippian church was suffering persecution for being a Christian like Paul. Paul had learned that the secret to contentment was to be joyful in any circumstance – even persecution and prison. The hope is that we all can find this true joy – to be content in every circumstance, including persecution. Suffering calls for perseverance. During perseverance comes transformation. Suffering changes us and God will use our suffering for a time of transformation in our lives and in our hearts. The way we suffer always speaks to those around us who witness it. If you are in a season of suffering, do others see you content in your circumstance? God uses our suffering for our good, the advancement of the Gospel, and His glory. 


Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1:2-3

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