“For to you it has been granted for Christ’s sake not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake,” Philippians 1:29
Directly out of the first chapter of the letter to the Philippians by the Apostle Paul – the book in the Bible that often is referred to as the “Book of Joy” or “Book of Rejoicing” because Paul writes so much about joy and rejoicing. But this does not sound like a reason to rejoice. It is not the most pleasant thought – that we have been granted “also to suffer for His sake.” But it is. It will happen and it will likely be happening in our country more and more in the days ahead than has happened in the days past.
We are facing the reality of the blessings of knowing Christ Jesus and our profession of that knowledge will be tested. Christ Jesus is interested in separating out those who profess but do not believe. Those who claim to believe but actually have not come to Him in truth and in repentance seeking His forgiveness. Knowing that this is what we have been granted, just as the believers in Philippi were granted, we can rejoice. To suffer for His sake is a good thing. To suffer is to share is what Christ experienced, it is to identify with our Savior and we can do it because our future is secure. God has already accomplished what concerns us. The good work that he began in us will be perfected – completed – brought to maturity in Christ Jesus. We suffer now for a little while but we live forever with Christ in heaven. There is no balance between the two. This life compared to our life with God in eternity just has no comparison. So live today with the confidence that we have been lifted out of the suffering we experience and will experience and we have been set in a much better place. It is just a matter of time. Let’s face it for His sake.