As my wife and I sorted through our thoughts in this dark time, we reached an understanding that suffering is a normal part of the Christian life. In fact, Jesus himself suffered…
- when he was tempted (Heb 2:18)
- he learned obedience from what he suffered (Heb 5:8)
- he suffered death (Heb 2:9)
- he taught his disciples that he must suffer many things (Mark 8:31)
- he suffered physical pain (1 Peter 4:1)
- he suffered for our sins (1 Peter 3:18)
- he was insulted (1 Peter 2:23)
- and many others (Isaiah 53, Hebrews 12:2-3)
Jesus suffered so many things for us, knowing we were worth it. He loves us!
And this is our response to his suffering out of love for us:
I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death. (Php 3:10)
And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering. Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later. (Rom 8:17-18)
We would do anything for Jesus, including the suffering.
Next week I will pass on some principles about suffering from respected and well-known writers that will challenge you on what you currently believe about your own suffering.