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This blog is simply meant to bring God the glory; no more and no less. I'd love to hear from you! Comments, questions, conversation. rebecca.labriola@gmail.com

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Joy in Suffering. Thursday, August 28. 2014.

“For to you has been granted, for the sake of Christ,
not only to believe in Him but also to suffer for Him.”
Philippians 1:29

Paul is so great.
I find myself giddy when reading something he wrote.
He doesn’t quite understand the whole concept of
run-on sentences,
but I love him nonetheless.

The word grant has two meanings.
As a noun it is generally ‘a sum of money given’.
As a verb it means to ‘agree to give’ or ‘to allow’.
Both are concepts of giving to some extent.
Both seem to fit well in this verse.

‘For to you has been granted…’
Paul is reminding us that whatever follows that first part of the sentence,
is a gift.
It has been given to us.
Granted to us.
And should be appreciated by us.

We are given the opportunity to believe in Him.
We were graced with free will.
It is upon us to decide if we believe in Him or not.

This is a gift taken for granted so much.
We are blessed with so many freedoms
that we forget they are freedoms in the first place.
We just expect them.

The freedom to choose Christ,
to choose to believe in Him,
is one of the greatest gifts we could ever ask for.

A gift granted.
One that should never be taken for granted.

It’s easy to understand that free will is a gift.
It’s not nearly as easy to understand that suffering is a gift.

Along with free will,
we are also granted the joy of suffering for Him.

Yes, the JOY.
We reciprocate without a second thought.
I’ll get the tab this time,
you grab it next time.

But when it comes to reciprocating at our own expense?
All bets are off.

Jesus did more than just pick up the tab.

He paid more than any monetary tab.
He sacrificed His own life.

Not for the purpose of a decent meal
but that we might not face eternal death.

It should be a downright joy for all Christians to suffer for Christ.

He laid down His life.
Where is the rule of reciprocation here?

If we live because of His sacrifice,
then whose are our lives but His?

Next time it feel like you’re going through hell,
or you’re stuck in traffic,
or your heart seems to be shattered on the floor,
or you have too much cleaning to do…
offer it up.

Unite your suffering to His.
Suffer for Christ.

Not because you have to,
not because it is a rule,

but because you have been granted the joyous opportunity to suffer for the Savior of the World. 

1 comment:

  1. Interesting that this topic was posted...just the other day I was questioning God with tears as to "why" we have to suffer.

    I just had surgery and have been in much pain on the mend. I awoke at 4AM and thought about all of the men in wars that were maimed or wounded, the excruciating pain and suffering...then I thought of the holy martyrs and the pain and suffering they went through, then I thought of Our Lord and the magnitude of the pain and suffering He went through! In our humanity this amount of pain is insane, literally insanitizing. Here I was in pain from surgery, on pain meds, and I was crying to God about it. "Father, you are omnipotent...all knowing...all powerful...why do you allow your people to suffer so? Why? You can easily put an end to all of this...why don't you?"

    Then I wiped my tears and offered up my pain for the souls in Purgatory and fell back asleep.