PHILIPPIANS‬ ‭1‬:‭27‬-‭30‬ ‭‬‬

“Above all, you must live as citizens of heaven, conducting yourselves in a manner worthy of the Good News about Christ. Then, whether I come and see you again or only hear about you, I will know that you are standing together with one spirit and one purpose, fighting together for the faith, which is the Good News. Don’t be intimidated in any way by your enemies. This will be a sign to them that they are going to be destroyed, but that you are going to be saved, even by God himself. For you have been given not only the privilege of trusting in Christ but also the privilege of suffering for him. We are in this struggle together. You have seen my struggle in the past, and you know that I am still in the midst of it.”

Philippians‬ ‭1‬:‭27‬-‭30‬ ‭NLT‬‬

There is a mindset to be had when going through persecution and it is that of a citizen of heaven. Those in God’s kingdom know that their earthly defeat doesn’t equate to their actual defeat. They recognize that eternal blessings come with physical dissent. This can sometimes be an extreme price, as it was for the king. Yet, because it is so, death is not to be feared but rather embraced. Therefore, when facing trials, it is not only imperative, but also a mark of citizenship, that Christians behave as Christ did. They must be a willing lamb approaching the slaughter. They must exude joy. This shouldn’t be a mindless elation at suffering, but a recognition that suffering is often the cost of entry into an eternal blessing. When Christians refuse to hold suffering as a necessary tax in their citizenship, they skew people’s perception of God’s kingdom and distort God’s dominion over things like pain, sickness, persecution and even death. Therefore, we ought to suffer well and without resentment for what it brings to our lives because, with the acknowledgment of who Jesus is and his work on the cross, suffering becomes a small thing we can give, to follow him into his kingdom.

Published by Josh McGary

MY NAME IS JOSH MCGARY. First, I am a Pastor of a small church in Portland, Oregon named Aletheia Bible Fellowship. We call it ABF. I have been a pastor there for the better part of 20 years. I am very eclectic. What I love, I love loudly and immersively. I have notable collections of toys, funko pops, and vinyl. I also infamously love pop culture, comic books, technology, the arts, psychology and philosophy.

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