Philippians 1:29, “For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for Christ’s sake.”
Each year billions of dollars are spent in the industry of pain relief. This is both in the form of over-the-counter medicine as well as prescription and surgery medication. There is even a whole line of occupation committed to the practice of anesthesia. We can thank God for advances in modern medicine.
But… though much time and energy is spent in the relieving of pain, for the Christian there is one type of suffering that is considered a privilege for believers. This is the suffering for Christ’s sake. Christians are called toward suffering for the name of Christ. Jesus himself calls on Christians to take up their cross and follow after him (Matthew 16:24).
Christians are to have a different mindset toward suffering. Pain, persecution, and hatred are all products of the fall and at their very root are “bad things,” but God uses them for good. Suffering helps us to see the very value of the thing we are suffering for. Such as, if one is willing to suffer for something then it is obviously extremely valuable to the individual.
Here’s another perspective too. As Americans, the suffering we face is minimal compared to many countries in this world. When thinking about suffering may our minds go to those around the world in hostile countries who are suffering for the name of Christ. Countries where Christianity is illegal. Verses such as Philippians 1:29 should encourage us to pray for our brothers and sisters around the world.
Even in a world of “pain relief,” may we have a different mindset toward suffering for the sake of Christ.
Tony Myers is a fiction author and speaker. He and his wife, Charity, live in Waterloo, IA with their four children. He has studied Theology, Philosophy, and Biblical languages at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, and Emmaus Bible College. For more information visit his website at www.tonymyers.net or follow him on Twitter: @tony1myers