Suffering Can Be a Sign of God’s Favor?

“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

First, off let’s ask some 5 W’s and H to truly get a grasp of this verse.

Q:What has been granted? Why was it granted?
A: That you not only believe but also suffer for His sake.

Q:What does “granted” mean?
A:One of the tools that we can use to better understand Scripture is word studies. Many times, they help us grasp the different understandings of a word. So to answer the above question, one thing we can do is go to www.blueletterbible.org and find something out through their word study tool. This is what I find:

 

Word Study

 

So, let’s put that into perspective of the verse. It is a favor to you to not only believe but also suffer for His sake…

Suffering is hard. Have you ever been through a tough time in life?? Have you ever been in a situation where people showed hostility towards you because of something you believed? In the midst of the ridicule, it felt as if everything in life was going array.

Throughout all of this, how many times have you had the thought, “Man, God really is raining favor upon me today?” Probably not too often, right?

However, as we see in Philippians, Paul says that we’ve been granted to suffer for the sake of Christ. The word “granted” in this passage implies that a life of suffering was given graciously to us for Jesus’ sake. This is an interesting concept: we are shown favor by our  suffering for the sake of Christ.

Free To Suffer

Over this past summer, a good friend of mine told me this:

“In salvation, we have not been set free from suffering, but we have been set free to suffer. In the same way we are not fighting for a victory that has yet to be won, but we are fighting from the victory that has already been won on the cross of Christ once and for all.”

This has stuck with me ever since it was first prayed over me. We have been set free to take part in the same conflict that Paul had and was still facing in Philippians 1:30.

What was this conflict? Well if we go back and read the rest of this chapter in Philippians, we know that Paul was imprisoned for the preaching of the gospel. Paul says that his imprisonment was for Christ, and because of this suffering, the gospel was progressing and many were coming to Christ.

“To Live Is Christ, And To Die Is Gain”

Paul then moves on to say that he does not know whether or not he will live to return to Philippi, or if he must face death. He says that “to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” As Christians, we’ve been called to live a life that is worthy of the gospel. This means that we are to reflect the life of Jesus in all we do, and proclaim the good news we have received despite possible danger. This is something we all know.

On the other hand, death can be a scary thought and may be hard to think of as a matter of gain. However, death entails something greater for the child of God. Death entails spending eternity with our Savior Jesus! Death entails living in the presence of the glory of God. Death entails eternal worship and praise with no suffering or sorrow! This is something I look forward to partaking in when God calls me home. With this in mind, the only weapon that may have any affect from our enemies is taken right out of their hands.

The Favor of God In Your Suffering

Finally, by understanding that God shows immense favor for those who suffer for the sake of Jesus Christ, we can continue in the progress of the gospel! We know that we cannot be hurt in any way that does not result in an eternal weight of glory in the heavenly places, and thus we can face suffering and endure patiently for the reward that has been promised us.

When things are tough, when people mock and ridicule you for doing what is worthy of Christ and His gospel, and you patiently endure, God and His grace is on display for all to see.  In this display, God is well pleased. Whether you see it on this earth or in heaven, you will receive a blessing, for you have inherited a life everlasting.

 

Transform Intern

Vincent, aka “Vinny”, was an intern with Transform and Precept in 2013. Vinny is passionate about the Lord and desires that all would come to know Him. He is talented in the art of spoken word. He is currently attending seminary at Southeastern Theological in Wake Forest, NC.

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One Response

03.14.14

Yes and very truth, that we sometime is suffering for blessing in the future that prepare to take toward that amazing calling to preach gospel and heal and be voice of heaven in the HOly Spirit with joy in favor and in hand of God with wisdom and into build up the life with Christ,thanks and bless,keijo sweden

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