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Persecution’s Privilege

“For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on Him, but also to suffer for His sake” (Philippians 1:29).

What a tremendous privilege it is to have forgiveness of sin and eternal life by believing on the Lord Jesus Christ as one's Saviour. Once a person is brought to see that he is a sinner and deserving of God's condemnation, he can understand his need of receiving Christ as Saviour. Then, upon transferring his trust from himself and what he can do to Jesus Christ and what He has done for him, a person becomes a child of God and is delivered from condemnation (see John 1:12; 5:24).

Then notice the other privilege that Paul mentioned in Philippians 1:29, “But also to suffer for His sake.” Suffering for evil is not a privilege, but it is a privilege to suffer in behalf of the Lord Jesus Christ. A person guilty of a crime suffers at the hands of others because of his wrongdoing, but when an innocent believer suffers for his or her faith in Christ, this is a distinct privilege (see 1 Peter 2:19,20).

When believers realize that suffering in the behalf of Christ is a part of their Christianity, they will not be startled, or terrified, when it comes.

—From Gems From the Original, Volume III, by Harold J. Berry.