Serving and Suffering for Christ--Philippians 1:27-30

Tony’s Blog—FBC Jay
Serving and Suffering for Christ!
By Pastor Tony on February 17, 2020; 3:27 p.m.
Monday, February 17, 2020

I find myself thinking on this Monday afternoon about serving Christ.  At the same time I entertain the possibility that serving Christ could lead to suffering for Him.  I don’t much like the idea of suffering.  It just doesn’t seem very appealing to me.  I think that most people try to avoid it all together if they can.  So as I am contemplating the letter to the Philippian church, somehow I can’t avoid the reality that those who served Jesus were faced with the unavoidable situations that resulted in their also having to suffer for Him.  There is something about this idea that keeps me wondering about modern day followers of Jesus; especially those of us who live in the U.S.  Do we have what it takes, are we so weak spiritually that we scurry at the vary mention of suffering.  Jesus told His disciples that they “would suffer” for His name’s sake.  What about you?  Would you suffer for Him?
Scripture: Philippians 1:27-30
v. 29-30  “For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake, having the same conflict which you saw in me and now hear is in me.”
I can’t help but think of those all around the world who suffer greatly for their faith in the gospel.  Paul addresses the believers of the church in Philippi about the ever-present possibility of suffering, however, he exhorts them to understand the privilege of believing in Jesus.  So he also exhorts suffering for Jesus’ sake.  Paul has suffered much for this cause, and reminds these early believers, as well as us, that serving Christ will bring suffering.  But, we are to be faithful no matter what.
Just like Paul, we are to acknowledge that Christ is worth it.  All of our hope rests in Him, so no manner of service and no manner of suffering could ever be reason enough to stop being faithful to Him.   Running our “race” will be full of obstacles, but finishing faithfully is our goal.  “Pressing forward to the prize….” suggests that it will not be easy but tedious.  Finding the strength will only come when we lay our lives down for is most noble of causes.  So hang in there my friends.  Jesus is calling us to serve and to suffer, if need be, for His sake.
Heavenly Father, we know that You are worthy of our becoming living sacrifices.  And that sometimes be faithful to You demands that we experience suffering.  Lord, strengthen us especially for this privilege.  Keep us from straying and help us to discern Your Spirit’s guidance.  Lead the way we must follow and keep our steps from slipping.  Strengthen us as we surrender to Your plan and purpose for our lives.  In Jesus powerful name, Amen!