Happy Monday, everyone! Because of its relevancy, I want to spend a little more time diving into the topic of suffering. In case you missed the sermon or it seemed like information overload, we're going to break it down here for you. Last week we discussed the Biblical response to suffering in our lives: Humility, Union with others, Resist the devil and Trust God. Now that we know how we should respond to suffering, it leaves us with a great question; if God is so good, why does he allow suffering?
Ok, maybe this is not as motivational as I hope it to be, but the Bible offers a very real explanation for our suffering.
- We choose the path of consequence every time we sin:
From the beginning of time, displayed for us in Genesis 3, we learn that the consequence of sin is suffering and death. God allowed suffering for Adam and Eve simply because they chose it. God made it very clear that they were not to eat the fruit the same way He makes it very clear that we all must seek a life of obedience. Once we choose sin, we choose suffering as well. It’s in no way God’s fault- in reality, suffering is a consequence of the choice to rebel against God in sin. The good news is God does not leave it at that! There are other reasons why He allows our suffering:
- We have union with Christ by sharing his suffering.
God very much understands your pain. In fact, Jesus Christ felt so much more pain on the cross; He took the burden of sin on Him and defeated death. God allows suffering, but in no way does He excuse Himself from it. God incarnate, Jesus Christ, suffered an undeserving crucifixion all for our sake. So when we suffer, let's consider it an honor since it’s something we know our own savior experienced also.
“But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when His glory is revealed.” - 1 Peter 4:13
- Suffering also gives us a reason to rejoice.
As Christians, despite our suffering, we rejoice together! We rejoice because God responds to our suffering by providing strength through His Holy Spirit.
“If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.” - 1 Peter 4:14
God never leaves us or forsakes us. Through our suffering, He knows that we are not strong enough to handle the burden of it on our own so He intercedes on our behalf and provides His spirit. What a reason to rejoice! We have a relational God responding to our needs by giving us Himself! We also rejoice because God asks for our burdens and He cares for us; “Casting all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you.” - 1 Peter 5:7 We would be so happy if we had friends that asked for our student loads, light bills, rent, mortgage, etc. Yet, we have a God that asks for ALL of our burdens and it is an even greater reason to rejoice!!
On this amazing Monday, consider all that God has done for you and declare Christ as your Lord and Savior; He understands your suffering and allows it for very specific reasons. I love you all!
Yours in Christ,