‘Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him’ (vv8–9) Hebrews 5:5–10
Suffering is not something we want eagerly to embrace. We observe Jesus’ life and the great suffering He endured in fulfilling God’s salvation purpose. Yet, Scripture doesn’t avoid the issue of suffering. It is quite a challenge to accept the idea that Jesus’ suffering was part of God’s redemptive process. Scripture encourages us that, whatever suffering we experience, Christ knows of it in intimate detail for He too suffered.
Peter in his epistles encouraged faithfulness in the face of suffering, which the Christian must anticipate as one element of our mortal experience. We have to actively encourage the suffering church. Scripture’s clear and states, ‘Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfil the law of Christ’ (Gal. 6:2).
I am always moved by the faithfulness of those who suffer. The nature of the suffering can be because of their faith and I had the privilege of serving the persecuted church for 12 years. The fact that Jesus is present in the worst of human experience is, for me, a tremendous statement on the depth of God’s love. The question always remains; are we able to find God when life is painful?
RELATED SCRIPTURE TO CONSIDER: Isa. 43:1–13; 2 Cor. 4:16–18; 1 Pet. 4; Heb. 4:14–16.
AN ACTION TO TAKE: If you suffer, are you able to find Jesus in your struggles? If so, how? Also, let’s pray and practically find ways to bear the burdens of others.
A PRAYER TO MAKE: ‘Lord, encourage me in my suffering and help me to become an encourager of others through my prayers and actions. Amen.’
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