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Philippians 1:30 – suffering in struggles

03-02-2023 - Posted by Hans

… to be suffering for His sake also, having the same struggle such as you are perceiving in me, and now are hearing to be in me

By suffering for Christ, Paul refers to the struggle the Philippians experienced. Standing on – and standing up for the Good News in itself is not a struggle. But this attitude does lead to conflict because in a world that does not want to hear the truth, the Good News is by definition opposed. All possible weapons and strategies are used in that battle. Lies, injustice, cunning and deceit; no weapon or method is shunned by the enemy. It is for this reason that Paul makes the spiritual armor available in Ephesians 6. Because if we want to remain standing, no part of it can be missed.

The battle Paul writes about is much more than just dismantling straightforward arguments. It is often suffering from false accusations and ‘punching below the belt’. The same struggle that the Philippians had seen with Paul back then, they now experienced. Perhaps also with physical resistance, such as torture and imprisonment. Paul knew all about it: he had experienced it all until the day he wrote these words. But he considers it a great privilege to share Christ’s position of rejection in this way!