Called to Suffer

Philippians  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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We are called to suffer

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Phil 1:28-30 28 and not frightened in anything by your opponents. This is a clear sign to them of their destruction, but of your salvation, and that from God. 29 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, 30 engaged in the same conflict that you saw I had and now hear that I still have.
Persecution from other is proof of the sign of destruction for them, and blessing for you. Therefore do not be frightened
Suffering is a sign that you are living in the reality of the kingdom of God.
When people seek out destruction based on our beliefs, that is a sign that you are called by God. Suffering is proof of your salvation.
“The Greek word translated being frightened does not occur elsewhere in the NT. It was used in Greek literature to describe horses that are startled and frightened on the battlefield. Plutarch, a contemporary of Paul, employs this word in his story of a Roman soldier’s death in battle due to his frightened horse. His horse, who was “agitated,” threw him to the ground, and he was killed. Paul’s instruction to stand firm without being frightened calls for Christians not to be agitated and terrified on the battlefield as horses often are. Christians are not to be intimidated in any way. No matter how powerful the opposition is, nothing should shake the resolve of those who stand firm in the one Spirit. Lined up side by side as one person, they should not be scared by any threats or any torture. They should not run from any battle, back down from any attack, compromise anything, or concede in any way.”
the reason they should not be frightened is that “this is an eschatological, theological assurance that their suffering and resistance will function as a sign of eschatological destiny. This should function to greatly encourage them in the face of their severe suffering. It looks forward to the hope of the renewal of the cosmos, when suffering will end and all enmity and evil will be swept away”
Great news, We are granted suffering!
Verse 29, “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,”
Paul says suffering is granted to us. The word granted, is the word χαρίζομαι. Which the word that is also translated grace in other parts of the New Testament. It means “to give graciously or liberally”
So Therefore, The Philippians were not to be afraid of their suffering, because it is a sign of God’s grace on a believer!
God, in his grace, not only gives us faith, but also suffering. Isn't that wonderful news!
James 1:2-4 "“"Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing”
We should not be surprised that when we stand for the gospel, it will cause many to have enmity against you. We should not be surprised by suffering
Illustration
When I went into the hospital, I had two emotions after I got new of my ATrial Fibrillation. I was int he hospital for two and half days. I did not feel any symptoms that were noticeable, until the day before when I could not breathe at night.
The event was life changing. But I had 2 responses that came up in my heart.
1. My first response is to blame myself. Blame myself for being overweight, blame myself for how I handle stress. Blame myself for many reasons.
2. Second, is the feel that God is personally going at me. God has some kind of personal vendetta with me and is grinding me. For with past mistakes or for feeling I made a wrong turn in life…etc.
In reality, this event is a gift! It is my responsibility to mine this gift for gold.
Application
As part of our salvation, we should not be frightened by suffering. It a sign from God that we are moving in the right direction, it is a sign of blessing and salvation.
God graciously gives all of us suffering. We experience it different, but we all experience suffering.
Let us not be like a scared horse in battle and run away. Stand strong and lock arms with your brothers and sister. Take it on, we are called to be in this.
Lastly, First, when entering into a downward spiral. Ask, am I blaming myself?
Second, Do I feel that God has it out towards me?
Instead of embracing these feelings, ask God to help mine the golden gift during this time of suffering. Be open to suffering as gift rather than a burden we must carry.
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