Paul touches on something in this passage that most believers really don’t want to hear. 2 Timothy 3:12 puts it this way, “Everyone who wants to live a godly life will be persecuted.” The way that Paul says it here goes like this, “it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe on Him, but also to suffer for Him….”
Suffering is a part of life. Unfortunately, much of the suffering that we experience has more to do with suffering the consequences of our own sin than it does with suffering for Him. Paul mentions a few things in this passage that qualify as suffering for Him.
v 27 – Sometimes we suffer for the stands that we take – There are times when doing nothing more than taking a stand will cause trouble. Not doing something that everybody else is doing can bring us ridicule and scorn. We see this all the time in our culture. By not jumping on the gay marriage bandwagon or not agreeing with the the pro-choicers or not bowing to the evolution theoryists or not getting excited about transgender equality will bring on disparagement and mockery. But suffering for Him is a worthy kind of suffering.
v. 27 – Sometimes we suffer for the fights we engage in – But then there are also times when our faith takes on a more active approach. There are times when we must fight for what we believe in – in an active sense. Sometimes the gospel demands that we go into battle. And whether it is a war that plays out in the media or a war that is actually confronting enemies to the truth, casualties ensue and suffering happens. But suffering for Him is a worthy kind of suffering.
May the Lord gives us His wisdom to know when to stand and when to fight. And the courage to endure whatever suffering may come our way.