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(NASB)
It was not only Jesus Who explained that the Christian life would entail much suffering but also Peter, James, and the apostle Paul. Suffering for Christ's sake and enduring many trials and tribulations on His account is part of the worthy walk of the normal Christian life, for we have not only been given the wonderful advantages of trusting in Christ for salvation, but also the holy privilege of suffering for Him.
We have been promised a full supply of Christ's sufficient grace through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit, no matter what difficulties or dangers we may face. Even death is the doorway into the presence of God Who Himself has promised to finish the good work that He began in us the moment we came to faith in Christ Jesus our Saviour, and were born into His heavenly family.
The normal human reaction to the influx of persecutions and pain is an immediate desire to escape the advancing difficulties and dangers. In reality, we should embrace them with a thankful heart, confidently expecting our Heavenly Father to use them for our spiritual benefit and for His eternal glory.
James considers the various trials that come our way to be 'all joy' and calls us to 'rejoice in our sufferings' knowing that through them our faith will be tested. And this will produce in us patient endurance and a chance to grow so that we may become mature in the faith, and be made perfect and complete in all things. Peter also encouraged us: "Rejoice insofar as you share in Christ's sufferings, knowing that you will also be overjoyed when His glory is revealed."
And Paul considers that the sufferings, sadness, trials, and tribulations of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed in us. For it has been granted to us on behalf of our Saviour, Jesus Christ, not only to believe in Him for salvation but also to suffer for Him as we journey through life in a Christ-rejecting sinful world that is lost in their trespasses and sins and is at enmity with our Heavenly Father.
Heavenly Father, how I praise and thank You that I have been called out of darkness into Your glorious light, by faith in Christ's finished work at Calvary which alone paid for my sins. I also thank You that as part of Christ's Body, I am given the privilege of suffering for His sake. As I travel through a world that is hostile to Your grace and shows contempt for the precious sacrifice of Your dearly beloved Son and my Saviour, I pray You would draw me ever closer to Christ. May I rejoice in the trials I am called upon to face in this fleeting life, knowing that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which will be one day be revealed in me. Praise His holy name, AMEN.
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