A Clay Jar

Encouraging, comforting, and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory. (1 Thess. 2:12 NIV)

The Privilege of Suffering for Christ

Philippians 1:29

Published on:

Last Updated on:

For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him.

Philippians 1:29 NIV

This is an interesting and rather unsettling verse. Paul says that it has been granted to us to believe in Christ and also to suffer for him. Few believers probably have any issue with the first half of this. That is a good and positive thing. It is the suffering part that is unsettling.

Suffering for Christ

The word “granted” in this verse means “to show favor, grant, bestow, graciously conferred.” We have been given the privilege of suffering for Christ. Now generally, we don’t think of suffering as a privilege. But Paul clearly does. The question is, why? Why is it a privilege to suffer?

I believe that it has to do with the suffering of Christ on my behalf. What can I give to the one who gave his all to me? I can follow his example and suffer for him.

Suffering for Christ is not pleasant. And I don’t think it is something we necessarily should go out of our way to experience. But when we do, and all who would live godly lives will suffer (2 Tim. 3:12), rather than complain about it, be proud that you have been counted worthy to suffer for him and praise God (1 Pet. 4:16). Boast with Paul (2 Cor. 11:21-33) about how God has used your weakness to further the gospel.

Present Suffering and Future Glory

In Romans 8:17-18, Paul connects our sharing in the suffering of Christ with sharing in his glory. And then he expresses that the glory to come will far outweigh the current suffering. My suffering here is somehow tied to the glory that will come later.

Could it be that the ones who are most privileged to suffer here will experience the most glory in the age to come? If that is the case, then living in a land where we can freely worship and live free from the threat of much suffering may not be as big of a blessing as we suppose it to be.

“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven.”

Matthew 5:11-12 NIV

Additional Related Posts

If you have found value in this post, please consider sharing it with your friends.

Subscribe to A Clay Jar

If you have found value in this post, please consider subscribing to A Clay Jar so that you don't miss any other posts. 

Ed Jarrett

Just an old clay jar that God continues to see fit to use in his kingdom's work. I am retired, married with 2 children, and 4 grandchildren. I have followed Jesus for many years. And I love to share what He has given me from His word.

A Note to Readers

The views expressed here are solely mine and do not necessarily reflect those of any other person, group, or organization. While I believe they reflect the teachings of the Bible, I am a fallible human and subject to misunderstanding. Please feel free to leave any comments or questions about this post in the comments section below. I am always interested in your feedback.

2 thoughts on “The Privilege of Suffering for Christ – Philippians 1:29”

  1. This one is understandable, to a point. For Jesus to have suffered for me, is the obvious reason for me to reply in like kind. My suffering in cleaning a room, or moving dirt in the sun is child’s play, compared to Jesus’ life of suffering, with nails in his hands & feet, hanging on a cross (physical pain beyond description) . Or dragging his own cross, down the hill side & down a rag-tag road, to his place of crucifixion, while people watched him untouched in their hearts (his mental agony was unknown to man). I’m way to weak to do anything like that, physically & mentally.

    • Paul is not talking about a willingness to suffer. Instead, he is describing suffering for Christ as a privilege. We should consider it an honor to be treated like Jesus was. Not just something to endure.


Leave a Comment