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The first post in this devotional series covering the book of Philippians is Devoted to Philippians.
“For to you it has been granted for Christ’s sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake, experiencing the same conflict which you saw in me, and now hear to be in me.” (Philippians 1:29-30)
After all the positive verses in this first chapter, we’re hit with one of the reasons Paul is trying to be upbeat: the Philippians are suffering for Christ’s sake. And, Paul notes, the sufferings are similar to his.
Sometimes I wonder about this. We Americans don’t really suffer too much for Christ. We’re looked down upon and marginalized, but that’s not quite the same thing as being on trial for your life, or being in poverty because of persecution.
Real persecution may be coming. Americans have long lived without real persecution, but the tide may be turning. Jesus suffered incredible persecution and suffering, and both He and His apostles warned us that those who are in Christ WILL suffer.
In the meantime, pray for the persecuted brethren around the world. In many countries, Christ’s followers are hounded incessantly. The least we can do is spend some time asking for God to show Himself through it.
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