No one likes to suffer.
I think, if we are all honest, we would say that just reading that word makes us cringe or makes our heart hurt.
We either are in the midst of suffering or we know someone who is and the mental pictures that come with that word are often very hard.
Most times, we think of suffering as bad and something to "get through" and yet this morning as I studied Philippians I saw a whole new side of suffering....
Paul writes Philippians from prison and he knows, very personally, what suffering is like. He is in prison because of Christ, because he won't stop preaching the Good News of Christ's death and resurrection. But as he writes this letter to encourage the Philippian church, he writes some amazing words....
For it has been GRANTED to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for him...
The word GRANTED just lept off the page at me.....what does that mean? So I looked up the definition......to bestow, give permission.
We have been given permission to suffer with Christ. We have been bestowed the privilege of suffering for His name's sake.
Have you ever thought of suffering like that?
So I stopped and reevaluated all the areas I feel I am suffering in...through that idea and my heart melted and softened and the tears began to flow....when I am suffering those times for His name's sake, not from my own stupidity or disobedience, it is a time that has been GRANTED me...BESTOWED on me....
...and it gives the suffering a whole new meaning.
...and I turn from feeling the victim to feeling incredibly blessed.
Do you need to need to reevaluate your suffering?