The Gift of Suffering?

Phil. 1:29 "For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him."

Nothing is as isolating as true misery. It's why we must look up instead of in, why we must cry out instead of cry, why we must endure suffering instead of resist it. Paul explains in Phil. 1:29, that God grants us suffering. The word grant is charizomai in Greek, meaning "to give freely, to forgive, to do something pleasant or agreeable." Giving us the opportunity to suffer for Christ is a GIFT.

Wow! That seems like a real oxymoron, doesn't it? In the same way that good parents give their children chores and responsibilities to mold and strengthen their character, God gives us trials to mold and strengthen our character. We can choose to respond like immature, selfish children--complain, resist, or rebel--or we can respond like "little Christs" (i.e. Christians)--believe, hope, and endure, knowing that God is working something bigger in us and around us.

Don't isolate. Draw close to God. Share with the body of Christ. Believe, hope, endure. God is overcoming evil, not causing it. Follow Him, and you will overcome evil, also.

Jn. 16:33  "In this life you will have trouble. But the heart! I have overcome the world."

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