What’s in it for Me?

For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe on Him. But also to suffer for Him.
(Phil. 1:29)
“What’s in it for me?” You may not actually say these words but we all have asked them from time to time. In our human nature this actually can drive or alter our decisions. It’s just part of our sinful nature. We want to know what we stand to gain before we commit to something. While it is a common part of the way we think, it is not the right way to go about decision making.
What if ‘what was in it for you’ was suffering? Would you still decide to follow or serve Christ? Philippians is one of the letters recorded in the Bible from Paul to the church. Paul was writing from prison near the end of his life. He had a close relationship with the church in Philippi, and he wanted to encourage these friends in the midst of the persecution they were experiencing because of their faith in Jesus. His message of encouragement was, you are suffering because of being a faithful follower– keep up the good work.
Think of a time you needed encouragement in a tough time. You felt like you were following God and doing right and things were just tough. What if a friend sent you this verse above (Phil. 1:29). At first it doesn’t seem encouraging however, at longer look, we realize our belief can’t be based on all good times, victories, and easy going (everyone would or could believe). Only when we are tested in life, when hardship comes and we still trust– that is when our life really becomes a witness. Our faith is seen by others as real and worth having when we hold on tight to it in suffering and struggles. So God has not only granted the faith to believe but he also allows the testing ground for that faith to be seen as real and true.
So next time you are living right, just serving your king, and trials come your way remember you have not only been granted the ability to believe but also the ability to believe through suffering. So hang in there, this is just another witnessing opportunity allowed by God for His greater glory, for your growth, and for the advancement of His Kingdom. Soldier On!!!
In His Service,
Eric Barnes

Leave a Reply