Scripture Reading: Philippians 1:27-30
“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)
Belief in Christ is foundational. To believe in Christ means that we understand who He is, what He has done for us, and how much we need Him. But faith is more than intellectual assent; it involves having a deep conviction about these things. This knowledge and conviction ultimately lead to deep trust in Jesus.
But Paul goes on to say that we must also be willing to suffer for His sake. Paul was in prison for the sake of Christ. He along with the other apostles died a martyrs death for the sake of Christ. Today we have brothers and sisters around the world who are being persecuted and killed for the sake of Christ. Most of us know very little about that kind of suffering.
God used the suffering of His Son to redeem us from out sins. God uses suffering in our lives to perfect our faith and to make us realize how much we need Him. We will all face forms of suffering in our lives. God wants us to be prepared when these times of suffering come upon us. “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when His glory is revealed” (I Peter 4:12,13)
Lord Jesus, thank You for the suffering You experienced for me on the dreadful cross. Thank You for taking me through times of suffering. Help me be prepared when I face more suffering. I know that You use suffering to strengthen and perfect my faith.
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