Mikes Blog

Suffering!

“Wisdom comes through suffering” –Aeschylus “Sufferings are lessons” Aesop

Have you ever felt your affiliation with suffering was just a little too intimate? The more I work with people, the more I realize how much pain and suffering are in our lives. There is hurt, frustration, anger, fear, disappointment, betrayal and rejection to name a few; not to mention family conflict, job issues, financial difficulties or physical conditions. None of us welcomes pain and we do our best to stay away from it; but it seems to always find us in some form or fashion. But I am reminded of how God sees suffering, and the Bible has much to say about the subject; usually much differently than the way I generally think about it.

Isaiah tells us in chapter 53 Christ (God with us) was despised and rejected, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Hebrews 10 states it fit God’s character to make Christ “perfect” through suffering. The book of Job says God delivers those who suffer and speaks to them in their affliction (36:15). Peter tells us we should even “rejoice” we participate in the suffering of Christ (4:13).

“Choosing to suffer means that there must be something wrong with you, but choosing God’s will-even if it means you will suffer-is something very different. No normal, healthy saint ever chooses suffering; he simply chooses God’s will, just as Jesus did, whether it means suffering or not. And no saint should ever dare to interfere with the lesson of suffering being taught in another saint’s life.”[1]

When I think about the suffering I or others go through, it is not generally with the idea that it is natural and there is supposed to be a lesson involved. I do not see it as something with purpose and that has meaning. And I certainly don’t feel like expressing joy about it. But God absolutely does know what he is doing; and if he used suffering to teach his own son to be perfect, he can use it to mold and make me to be the person he wants me to be-to be like him. I’m going to try to look at hardship, pain and suffering a little differently-even if it is after the fact-and see how God uses it for my good. I hope you will too.

Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. –Matthew 5:48

Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? –Hebrews 12:7

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. –Romans 8:28-29

Blessings,

Mike


[1] Oswald Chambers “My Utmost for His Highest”

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