Well, I’d been sick for a few days. Like, in bed all day sick for all of Sunday. Would have been Friday & Saturday, too, but I was working. I went to the Doctor on Tuesday. But that really didn’t help that much (apparently it’s not an actual infection). So I just spent yesterday resting as well (since I had the day off from work again).
Anyway, this puts me even farther behind. But like I said before, no worries. I was slowly catching up with my Bible Reading, but I of course got set back a little with being sick. Nevertheless, I’ve only got another week or so of double readings to catch up.
So, today’s reading is still actually from last month: March 27, concerning Philippians 1. I was struck with D.A. Carson’s explanation of a verse that I had probably read hundreds of times before (literally, because I once tried to memorize all of Philippians): Philippians 1:29-30. ”For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake, engaged in the same conflict that you saw I had and now hear that I still have.” Carson writes:
What a remarkable notion! Paul does not say that these Christians have been called to suffer as well as to believe, but that it had been granted to them to suffer as well as to believe – as if both suffering in Christ and believing in Christ were blessed privileges that have been graciously granted. That, of course is precisely what he means. We often think of faith as a gracious gift of God (Eph. 2:8-9), but suffering?
(D.A. Carson, For the Love of God Vol. 2, Kindle Loc 2094)
Man, do I ever have things to say about that. The least of which is to explain the conduct of some Christians that I know in how they’ve faced their suffering. One of these examples is Matt Chandler (lead Pastor of The Village Church in Dallas, Texas), who famously dumbfounded journalists with how he responded to a diagnosis of brain cancer. Here’s the video of his announcement to his church…
God grant me the courage to respond with joy like this in face of the grace of suffering that you may grant in my life.