He Suffered

Life is not always an easy thing.  Our Lord and Savior suffered greatly to give us the opportunity to understand and change our direction in this life we have been given.  Will we learn something from it and possibly change the direction in which we are traveling?  It is different for each and every one of us, but we will have that opportunity no matter who we are.  What will the outcome be for each of God’s creations?

You may wonder what in the world I am doing writing about sordid topics when I should be full of God’s joy and hence His energy.  Well, friends of my heart, I am getting a taste of what it is to suffer and for some reason unknown to me I am sitting  here at the computer at 3:45 in the morning thinking about things and asking the Lord to give me some relief.  What are you trying to show me, Lord, and is it necessary to have me experience it? 

You want me to understand that life has many choices and following You is definitely not the easiest one, but the one that gains the most rewards.  I already understand that, but must You show me?  What? You said that knowing from reading is not the same as experiencing the difficulty.  Okay, I can agree with that, but I surely don’t like it and I would do almost anything to avoid it.  Oh, I see, that’s the lesson.  What will I do and/or give up to one day see Your face and rejoice in Your presence?  That is a good question!

Paul tells us that we are joint heirs with Christ and that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us (Romans 8:17-18).  I bet, you like me, don’t ever stop to think about suffering.  We do everything we can think of to avoid it.  I ask myself, is there really a purpose in our being exposed to it.  You know, that just may be the case.  We can’t imagine the taste of something until we have experienced it.

Luke told the people of his day – O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken!  Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory? (24:25-26).  It would appear that our Lord knew we could never understand the Father’s enormity until we had experienced even a taste of His greatness.  The question is are we up to the test?  I am not at all sure for myself, but I do pray that when the time comes I will be.

Paul suffered more than we can imagine in the world we now live in, but he did not hesitate to say For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us (Romans 8:18).  Can you travel back in your mind and imagine what it would have been like to live in Paul’s time?  We have such an easier road to travel even with all the obstacles we will face, but do we have the courage?  I, for one, surely would like to be able to answer that question with an unqualified “yes”.

Is there someone who can help me?  Yes, there is.  The Lord was no dreamer.  He knew what we would face to love and follow Him for He faced it Himself.  He was ridiculed and spit upon and yet He knew He had no choice.  His Father had sent him to save the creation that had turned their backs on Him and save it He would no matter the cost.  We are in His debt.  What will we do?

When the woes of life o’er-take me,
Hopes deceive, and fears annoy,
Never shall the cross forsake me:
Lo! It glows with peace and joy.

Kevin Harrison

WCBCS, 7459 S IH 35, Waco, TX, USA