Privilege of suffering!
Verse for Today: Saturday, March 17, 2012
Philippians 1:29 – For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe on Him, but also to suffer for Him.
There is a price to pay for all decisions we make in life. In some we pay more than the other and decide to go to it because it is too precious to our hearts. In order to derive satisfaction out of a particular matter, we are ready to spend a fortune. It should not be different with regard to our faith in the Lord Jesus. Our faith is not expensive to us to start with because Jesus paid the entire price for our salvation with His life on the Cross of Calvary. But when we enter into faith, it demands our whole body, soul, spirit and life. Our faith makes us forsake things in life which are based on sight. Our life on earth becomes temporary because we have put our faith in things which are eternal. We live here as salt of the earth which irritates those around us and prompts them to persecute us. But as salt is not for itself, we tend to suffer persecutions of various kinds without grumbling. We are also appointed light of the world which makes us burn for Jesus. Burning is a painful experience but it is for others to see God’s light in a dark world. Our faith thus demands that we willingly and joyfully go through persecution and sufferings. We are faced with physical and emotional sufferings including loss of dignity and even means of livelihood. We often experience innumerable inconveniences because of our faith. Our faith sometimes demands that we give up what would have been justifiably our portion in this life. We cannot adopt the world’s methods for a gain because of our faith. We cannot say what others say for temporary gain because Jesus would not be pleased with it. When our faith is challenged, we would often have to suffer loss of privileges for the sake of our Lord who gave up His position in heaven for us. We will have to give up certain things in life without a fight, competition or argument with others. We give up and give in for the sake of our faith which is too precious for us to compromise for.
Dear reader, are you called upon to suffer loss and pain in this world because of your faith in the Lord Jesus? Perhaps you are made a scapegoat by others to gain things which are important to them. They may persecute you emotionally and socially by ridicule, gossip, misrepresentation and distortion of facts. There might be situations when you are to pay back that which you had not borrowed from anyone. When you take a strong stand for the sake of the faith which is precious to you, it is important that you are willing to pay the price. But this is not to be considered a punishment. It is a privilege to publicly pay a heavy price in life for the sake of our Lord who paid the greatest price on the Cross for us. The price we pay for the sake of our faith is an indication of our love and allegiance to the Lord Jesus who demonstrated His total allegiance to us when we didn’t deserve it. The sufferings in life that we are called upon to undergo for our Lord is the greatest privilege we have in this life to demonstrate our love to Him. We should not be surprised when we are persecuted by this world. Sometimes the sufferings come from our own family, employers, colleagues or even those in the household of faith. We will have to sometimes say goodbye to possessions, positions, prestige and popularity for the sake of our Lord who gave up everything for us. But these sufferings are only for a short time, and are nothing when compared to the joy that He has poured into our hearts. The privileges that we have in the presence of the Lord are so great that they are never a match for the insignificant losses we might encounter in this life. Let us enjoy this privilege of sufferings for our Lord and show total allegiance to Him who suffered for us because He loved us.
2 Timothy 3:12 – In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.
Thought for Today
Suffering for faith is an opportunity to show the world that the Lord Jesus is more precious to us than any thing else in this world.
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