Suffering in Style
For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for him, Philippians 1:29
It may not be the kind of message that will see your non-church friends sprinting into a Sunday service, but Jesus never hid uncomfortable truth. ‘Taking up your cross’ wasn’t just poetic language. It meant something very visible for the people of the early church, and they knew it wasn’t nice.
It was this kind of preaching that made the disciples question Jesus’ choice of message, but He didn’t shy away from it. The Bible seems to ask the impossible when it tells us to think of times of suffering as opportunities for punching the air in joy. It seems to have a different outcome in mind to the rest of us;
‘When your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow…When your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.’ (James 1:3)
We want to be happy. But God wants us to see things from His point of view, leading to holiness. Then, our happiness isn’t based on shakable things.
Joy depends on Jesus, happiness depends on happenings. Paul said that he’d
‘learned the secret of being content in any and every situation.’
The secret? He saw things from God’s point of view, not his own. He had God’s perspective, right priorities and knew the best source of Power.
Heavenly Father, help me to know that the times of “suffering” – for You, are times that I grow and expand and You shape and mold me into someone stronger and better. Help me accept that. In Jesus’ Name, Amen