david santistevan

worship.leadership

Suffering? – Do It For Christ

Ever feel like you are in prison for no reason? Maybe you have been physically imprisoned for preaching Gospel, much like the Apostle Paul. But for most of us, I would say, there are setbacks that feel like spiritual prison – physical ailment, relational conflict, ministry opposition. Its an age-old question, “God, why would you allow this in my life?”

Paul found himself in many similar situations. Why would God allow somebody as gifted as Paul to face such opposition and even be imprisoned? Seems like a waste of a good resource, huh?

If you’ve ever read the New Testament, you’ll realize that Paul did not live an easy life. He was in and out of prison, sick in body, and faced persecution on all sides. Yet he is the man who says:

“I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me [imprisonment] has really served to advance the gospel, so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard and to all the rest that my imprisonment is for Christ” (Philippians 1:12-13).

Paul’s imprisonment actually served to advance the Gospel because people knew He stood for Christ.

As a Christian, there is no inherent blessing in suffering. We don’t go looking for ways to fight , get sick, or be imprisoned just to be more righteous. That is called ridiculousness.

But the Apostle Paul also says this:

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).

If you are a child of God, taking ground for the Kingdom, you are engaged in conflict. The enemy of your soul will oppose you. This is a privilege from God, not only to believe in Christ, but also to suffer.

Expect it and rejoice. Never lose heart. Fight the good fight. God is with you. Greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.

We are engaged in a war that has already been won.

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July 6, 2009 - Posted by | Theology

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