One of the biggest things I used to struggle with was why would God allow me to suffer so much. I was abused and neglected which I always felt was unfair. As I got older, I struggled with why God would allow me to suffer when I was doing all these amazing things for him.

Maybe you’ve felt like that before. You read your bible, serve, and are active in the church, and you still experience suffering. One of the most unique things about the apostle Paul is that he saw suffering for Christ as a privilege. Paul states in Philippians 1:29, “ For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him,”.

Most of us would not naturally consider suffering to be a privilege. Yet when we suffer, if we faithfully represent Christ, our message and example affect us and others for good. The greatest benefit I experience when suffering for Christ is finding my hope in Christ instead of the world and strengthening my faith. When we suffer for our faith, it doesn’t mean we have done something wrong.

The opposite is often true—it may be verifying that we have been faithful. Trust God and believe he has a purpose in it. Paul and his fellow apostles considered it an honor to be identified with Christ in suffering (Acts 5:41). Use suffering to build your character and draw you close to your Savior. Don’t resent it or let it tear you down. Instead, allow yourself to grow because of it.

JT Martinez
High School Pastor

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