Wednesday, March 09, 2016

WHERE IS THE VALUE IN SUFFERING?

We seem to have a pattern of taking the junk in our lives, bagging it up, and sitting it out for the trash man to pick up.  The junk I speak of would be discouragement, frustration, disappointment, and other such nagging bummers.  We believe it all to be trash...

....but it isn't.

Jesus had trash; lots of trash.  His walk was not smooth sailing.  One will not read the Gospels very long until wild interference approaches him.  It's contrary, mean, cunning, and even injurious.  Yet, Jesus stepped upon these abrasive stones as gracefully as he did upon unstable waters.

Our crushing moments are the very places we get to experience the Master Plan.  Real life isn't always found in the parade nor the honors banquet.  Authentic life which is quite rich and meaningful is found in the ditches of insult and the caverns of pain.  It is here that we must also learn to stay focused upon the prize of what real life is all about.

Where is the value in suffering?  The riches are found when realizing that such bold moves of submissive injury (taking up your cross and following him) result in God's favor.  If you note any within your circles who seem to be weirdly and remarkably blessed by God, one is liable to conclude it has been brought about by good breaks or close connections.  But look again.  I'm saying the successful among us know of a quite unique secret to success.  These have learned that the many things which don't go their way are beneficial.

For what credit is there if, when you sin and are harshly treated, you endure it with patience?  But if when you do what is right and suffer for it you patiently endure it, this finds favor with God.  (I Peter 2:20)

If we are going to be a serious part of the fabric of the outreaching church, we will need to absorb the truth (and we are quite big on truth) that extreme unfairness and explicit personal injury are two elements of the holy call.  After all, who is it we are called to follow?  The one who didn't have injury nor insult coming; but took the rejection and pain as our example to reach the entire world.

In the days of His flesh, He offered up both prayers and supplications with loud crying and tears to the One able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His piety.  Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered.  (Hebrews 5:7-8)

Try to realize this about us.  Our loud lament is not anguish to be eliminated because, in reality, we mainly target our ultimate pleasure.  We are called to lean the world toward God.  Our problem is that we has no other the method than the cross.  His pain blesses us.  Our pain blesses others via the identical way Jesus rescued us.  Suffering is the ultimate design of our God to win the world.  It is here, upon our crosses, that society has any fiber of real hope.








1 comment:

Kent Linda said...

We have never lived up to 1 Peter 2:20 fully, but we have come close...and the rewards cannot be measured. No one wants to suffer. The closeness with God that results, however, have never come to us apart from suffering. Still, we want Jesus to come quickly...