Suffering

It is strange to consider the life of our Lord Jesus Christ when He came to this earth. Jesus Christ was God in human form. He was completely and utterly perfect. Yet He was often treated with great disrespect, and He suffered in a way that no one can comprehend.

The Bible describes that believers are partakers of Christ’s sufferings.

But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. I Peter 4:13

And our hope of you is stedfast, knowing, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation. II Corinthians 1:7

When we speak of this kind of suffering, we are not talking about the fake, exaggerated suffering that some whining people exhibit. We are not speaking of the “suffering” people endure because they aren’t as rich as they hope to be or because their favorite restaurant closed just before they arrived.

But as we walk through our Christian life, we cannot escape suffering. Because God delights in infinite variation, each individual person faces suffering that is different from what other people experience.

And as we endure the suffering that we experience from time to time, we are reminded to remember our Lord Jesus Christ.

For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. Hebrews 12:3

Somehow, when we remember that the suffering we face is connected to the suffering that our Lord faced, it comforts our hearts and steadiest our minds. We must know that God has a miraculous ability to use the trials in our lives to form our character and to shape us into His image. Though it is understandable that we often want to escape our suffering, we need to learn to embrace it and to accept it as a precious gift from our Lord.

As Jesus said, “Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord” (John 15:20). If our precious Lord Jesus Christ suffered, then we, too, will be partakers.

by Dr. Mike Zachary

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