…you stand in one spirit, side-by-side, fighting for the Gospel, not in any way frightened by your opponents—which is a sign for them of their destruction, but a sign for you of your salvation from God.
Our fearlessness is a major sign to the world around us of the reality of God’s salvation. One of the constants in the world is fear. The world runs on fear. The entertainment industry sells fear. The news causes fear. It’s one of the enemy’s strongest weapons.
But as you know, from 1 John 4:18
There is no fear in love, because complete love casts out all fear
God: Father, Son, & Holy Spirit is complete, mature, perfected love. This is the core of God’s being no matter how we see Him manifested. The more God is allowed to manifest His presence through us the less fear we have. The more we look to Him the better we’ll feel and the more power we will find in our life. This is a clear sign to those in the world around us. In fact, you will have people asking you why you’re not afraid.
Verse 1: 29–30
The opportunity has been given to you to not only believe but also to suffer for His sake, experiencing the same conflict you saw and now hear to be my portion
Here is a truth we do not want to hear. Suffering is part of our walk in the Lord. It’s not a strange thing. It’s a normal part of Christian living. In fact, it can reasonably be said that if you are not suffering, you are probably too weak in faith to be trusted with it.
Suffering is part of the Good News
We can see it in Hebrews 12:11. It comes under discipline.
At the time all discipline seems painful never pleasant, but in due time it produces the peaceful fruit of righteousness once you’ve been trained by it
Peter was a bit more blunt, not surprisingly. In I Peter 5:14, he writes:
…knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brothers and sisters around the world. Plus, after you have suffered a little while, God himself will restore, strengthen, and establish you. In His continuing grace, He’s the One who called you into this life in Jesus in the first place
It’s part of his plan. God is not surprised or confused about it. He knows it is necessary for growth and maturity.
- Why Suffering? (christianitymatters.com)