Suffering for Him
Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or remain absent, I will hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel; in no way alarmed by your opponents—which is a sign of destruction for them, but of salvation for you, and that too, from God. For to you it has been granted for Christ’s sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake, experiencing the same conflict which you saw in me, and now hear to be in me. [NASB1995®]
Just as he expressed his deep joy in knowing that they were firm in the faith, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through the Holy Spirit, and as he spoke of the satisfaction it gave him knowing that his imprisonment and persecution cause the Gospel to spread, Paul now encourages the Philippians (and us) to remain firm in the persecution. We must not only persist, but also rejoice in being worthy to suffer for His sake.
Sometimes, knowing that our brothers in the faith are being persecuted in places hostile to Christians, we pray for them, but we do not fully understand their reality, as in our country we have absolute freedom to express our faith (whatever it may be).
Sometimes I ask myself… would my faith be strong if I was persecuted for it? I know that in my own strength, the answer is no, but the LORD sustains His own.
In our circle, occasionally we can be the object of mocking, of contempt, of distancing. May these things, and the persecution, when it happens to us, find us strong and joyful in the opportunity to participate in Christ’s suffering… God bless you!
Scripture quotation taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Translation By: Emily Stader