Good July Morning 7-7-08

"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. Phil.1:29 cont.     

Have you ever heard, "Relax, take it easy?" This is one motto of our anxiety-ridden society. Jesus seems to say, "Take it hard. Take up your cross and follow me."     

St. Paul reminds us that God grants grace not only to believe in Christ, He also gives the high privilege to suffer for His sake. It is a favor of God to suffer for Christ. In suffering, faith becomes more real. Paul grew in faith as he suffred torture and opposition for Christ. He found joy in his suffering, and he rejoices that the Philippians are in the same conflict.     

We are led to think that joy is found only in comforts to the body. We are allured by the dream of a well-adjusted life with a high standard of living. God does give these material gifts. He also grants us the blessing of suffering for Christ. We not only believe, we suffer for His sake. There is joy in confessing Jesus before men, and suffering for it.     

Christian friends, As Christians, we are not morbid in our enjoyment of suffering. We find joy in accepting the privileg of suffering for the sake of Christ, who endured all pain and death for us.  

O for a faith that will not shrink                                                                         Though pressed by many a foe,                                                                                   That will not tremble on the brink                                                                                  Of any earthly woe.  

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY - Those who live for God can expect trouble in the world.