“During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death… Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation…” Hebrews 5:7-9
Don’t like it, don’t want it. It’s inconvenient. However, Jesus needed it.
- “Suffering is God spanking us for our sins.”
- “Only losers experience suffering.”
- “Suffering can be avoided by money and control.”
- “Suffering is pain and pain is to be avoided.”
Why We Think So?
- Ours is the home of the brave and the land of the free. We shouldn’t have to suffer, it’s Un-American. It’s our birthright.
- We blame God. It’s his fault. He should be watching over us. It’s unfair.
- We equate suffering with poverty. People suffer because they are poor.
- We believe suffering is a weakness of character.
- We deny it, pretending all is fine while coming apart at the seams.
Suffering comes to us all. The day arrives when we get personal with grief, sadness, and pain. If it’s not us, then it’s our family. The worst suffering isn’t what happens to us, but to one of our kids.
Faith & Suffering
It’s hard to trust God in suffering. Why? Because I don’t want to go the extra mile when I’ve already been forced to go the first one, or turn the other cheek when I’ve just been slapped, or give more to the one who’s already taken from me. I don’t want to pray for my attackers, or forgive them, or love them. It hurts too much.
But trust him I must.
- Suffering seasons the soul.
- It shapes and matures us.
- Suffering develops humility and compassion.
- It increases resolve, patience and wisdom.
Jesus suffered. He asked his Father to take the cup of suffering away. He prayed and he cried out in tears. But God said no.
Suffering perfected Jesus. Through his perfection, we are redeemed and made whole.
Perhaps my suffering can be a blessing to someone else.