by Doy Moyer
The willingness to suffer for the cause of Christ is not a bug, but a feature of the Christian’s worldview. We realize that this is not, in itself, a selling point that would immediately cause people to flock to Jesus Christ. No one likes to suffer, and most are not willing to suffer if they don’t understand why. However, everyone is willing to suffer something when they understand that the suffering is for something that they consider to be of greater value or toward a purpose they deem significant. Parents will suffer for their children. Friends will suffer for one another. Soldiers will suffer for their country. Many are even willing to suffer for animals and pets. There is no doubt that people are willing to suffer. The question is whether or not we truly understand the cause of Jesus Christ and why commitment to Him is everything. Once we do, then the willingness to suffer for Him should be a foregone conclusion. We will be willing to give everything.
Here, then, was Paul’s attitude about it: “But everything that was a gain to me, I have considered to be a loss because of Christ. More than that, I also consider everything to be a loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. Because of him I have suffered the loss of all things and consider them as dung, so that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own from the law, but one that is through faith in Christ—the righteousness from God based on faith. My goal is to know him and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of his sufferings, being conformed to his death, assuming that I will somehow reach the resurrection from among the dead” (Philippians 3:7-11).