“For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him.” (Philippians 1:29, NIV84)

A very peculiar phenomenon exists within the Christian church. Although Christianity is the most love-based religion on the planet, its members experience the most suffering. I don’t mean suffering that is common to all mankind. I am talking about suffering at the hands of other human beings and the society in which they live. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. Jesus Himself told His apostles that they would be persecuted because of their faith and ministry, and they were. All but one of them died as martyrs for the faith. Paul says in 2 Timothy 3:12, “And indeed, all who desire to live Godly lives in Christ will be persecuted.” He didn’t say “might” or “could.” He said “will.”

Have you ever suffered because you are a Christian? Just know that you are not alone. But how do you bear it? Paul says in this verse that we are granted the ability to suffer for Him. We should consider it a blessing to suffer for our faith because we know that our life has made a difference. The most important thing to remember is that the suffering we experience because of our faith is not the end of the story. God uses our suffering to spread His love and grace to the world around us. The point is that God uses our pain for the furtherance of His kingdom.

So be encouraged, even in your suffering, because your pain will not be in vain.

Peace!

Pastor Tom

  1. June 24, 2011

    Oh, this is a tough, tough message!

  2. March 23, 2014

    I agree with Jane , this is very hard lesson to hear and bear.

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