Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Fellowship of Suffering


"Wherever you are spiritually whatever you have been through emotionally, you are already wrapped in the Lord's embrace. Held close by nail-scarred hands." ~ Liz Curtis Higgs~

I believe in a sovereign God. So when I look around (or inwards) and see all the suffering, it is often difficult to reconcile His power with a loving God. Surely a loving God who is all-powerful would do something to relieve the suffering of His people.


But no. Our suffering is called chastisement. It is given by God Himself, according to Scripture in order to strengthen us and to lead us to greater understanding.


Psychologists tell us that this is exactly the argument of an abuser. An abuser, in the midst of his torments, tells his victims, "This is for your own good."


So what's the difference? The difference is the Cross. Our sovereign God is also a suffering God. One who has taken on Himself, undeserving, all the destructive power of Hell.
He endured infinite torment, closed in a frame just like mine, to crush the head of the serpent. To draw the deadly poison from pain. So that now, the suffering He serves us is in the character of the pain inflicted by a surgeon saving the life of a cancer patient. Or of an Olympic trainer preparing an athlete for victory.

Christ Jesus does not view our suffering from a safe distance. He does not even enter the suffering with us.
He is there already, waiting for us to join Him in the 'fellowship of His suffering'.

So when you find yourself tossed into the furnace, expect two things. Like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, expect to see Him there, and expect your bonds to go up in smoke.

I commend to you a study of Hebrews, where Jesus' identification with us in suffering is explained as a supreme credential qualifying Him as our High Priest.



4 comments:

Especially Heather said...

Christ Jesus does not view our suffering from a safe distance. He does not even enter the suffering with us. He is there already, waiting for us to join Him in the 'fellowship of His suffering'.


AMEN! AMEN! AMEN!

Thank you so much for sharing that!

Be Blessed,
Heather

Becky said...

Wonderful post. My favorite paragraph is the last where you talk about what to expect when you find yourself thrown in the furnace. What words of encouragement. Thank you.

Mommy Dearest said...

Lovely post.

Anonymous said...

Looking for the Kim Anderson who shared Chesbrough genealogy research with me - Larry (at) Chesebro.net

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails