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?
Photo by Sarel Kromer on ROAPE
This article was earlier published as an EDWJ Devotional. Except for the title, the content has not been edited by BT staff.