Mindset: suffering for Christ
“We are called to suffer for Christ, just as He suffered.” I hated when people would say that, mostly christians, I’m sure. I always had this resistance to that part of being a christian, as if everyone had the same plan to go by. Seemed not quite right. I’ve also been told I believe in a “prosperity” gospel (too much abundance and joy, I guess lol) as if there were a “poverty” gospel.
I started reading Philippians the other day and verse 4 caught my eye. Paul writes to the Philippians he’s always thanking God for them and when he prays for them, he is “always offering prayer WITH JOY,” (emphasis mine).
If you keep reading you’ll find out this is one of the times he’s in prison for preaching the gospel. This man was treated so badly yet his countenance was so high.
He goes on in chapter one to talk about how his “circumstances have turned out for the greater progress of the gospel.”
And that because he is in prison “some, to be sure, are preaching Christ even from envy and strife, but some also from good will.” And that he doesn’t care, because “Christ is being proclaimed, and in this I REJOICE, yes, and I will REJOICE.”
His suffering situation has made others step up and preach Jesus (whether good or bad intentions for themselves), but his suffering has made the name of Jesus louder, none the less.
But the thing is, his mind was not defeated, as some make it out to believe that that is how you are supposed to be when “suffering for Christ.”
He says, “for I know that this shall turn out for my deliverance through your prayers and the provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, according to my earnest expectation and hope.”
And tells the Philippians to be “in no way alarmed by your opponents.”
And still that we have “been granted for Christ’s sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake."
I was told by a complete stranger that I live by a prosperity gospel, that my reaction to things were too positive I guess. And by a friend that Jesus didn’t die for us to have a certain mindset.
I’m going to propose He did.
Where does our belief come from? We have to believe it in our mind, right? Where do our thoughts come from?
“As a man thinketh, so is he.” Proverbs 23:7
Did you know that you can still “suffer for Christ” and still have a beautiful mindset about it? Not suffering as if you were cast down and defeated and required to go through this pain? That your “earnest expectation and hope” will be what pulls you though, as you have believed and been made well, just like the women in Luke 8:48?
Christ’s name is exalted when you have exalted His name in your suffering. And you do that by “renewing your mind.”
Your mind plays a major role in your life. If your mindset is not one of abundance in the name of Christ, you are suffering with a defeated mindset. And as you think, so you are. So if your mind is defeated, aren’t you portraying defeat? Or as Proverbs says, you are actually defeated? If you think it, you are it, right?
I’ve also had a loved one tell me that I don’t care about things we go through because of my countenance. It seems “care free.” My high expectations for a better time does not mean that I don’t care about this one. I just have an unwavering belief of deliverance.
Living in stress, anxiety, and defeat about your current situation does not give justice or glory to the name of Christ. But being in suffering and knowing without a doubt that your deliverance is coming and having JOY in that, that says, “she knows Jesus.”
Our belief is a choice, made in our minds, given to us by Christ in our free will. We can choose to live in expectation and hope and ACT like it through our sufferings for Christ, or we can choose to live defeated and say we are suffering for Christ.
Which one do you think is victorious for His name?