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, emphasis added
Suffer for His sake … that doesn’t sound like great news, huh? For us, children of God and co-heirs of Christ, we are granted not only a relationship with the Most High God but also suffering for the sake of His Son, Jesus Christ. The two go hand in hand. While our first world suffering cannot compare to the persecution endured by our fellow believers around the world, we must realize and accept that suffering will happen. We will face hardships and pain … and it is through those difficulties that our light can burn brightest for the gospel of salvation. In all things, we are called to use our lives to point to the glory of God. Both joy … and sorrow, celebration … and suffering.
Lord, we know we have no clue about the suffering faced by Paul in his day and by the countless others in our day who are part of church that is persecuted. But we do know pain and we do understand sorrow … and we ask You to give us courage to suffer for Your sake. Give us willingness to allow the heartaches of this life to be a light that points others to Jesus, who is The Light. It is in His Name we pray, Amen.