For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake.
As a Christian, you have been given a great gift, to believe and to suffer for Jesus’ sake. Now you might say, “Well, thank you Lord, can I have the first part of the gift and return the second?” The gift of salvation sounds great to us but the suffering, not so much. Many times as believers we view the suffering that we go through as a punishment from God but Paul says it’s not a punishment. It’s a gift because it’s for Christ’s sake and it has a purpose.
We can rejoice and be exceedingly glad because this suffering has benefits. We are able to identify with Christ and others have the opportunity to see Jesus in us, leading to eternal rewards. Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount, “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven.”
So take a look at suffering from God’s perspective and it becomes more than something to endure. Instead you’ll see it as a privilege and an opportunity to glorify the One who suffered for you.
Pastor Doug Hardin