No, I’m not really suffering. The title is to get your attention. I’m blessed beyond compare. I’m able to draw closer to God in the midst of some challenges in my life in general. By no means am I persecuted.
Anyway, I wanted to share with you a thought I had last night as we were studying the Bible with our Chinese students. One of them asked about the love of others (family, friends, our significant other / engaged one / spouse) being enough to give us a sense of well-being. We answered that, while those members do love us and encourage us, it’s God alone that can completely fill us up. That sparked a discussion on God’s love for the whole world (cf. Jn. 3:16) and that if we saw how much God had to love us to create a new world and life for us, that we should be able to see the love of God all over creation.
Where this gets to suffering is that we wanted to also impress on the students that God disciplines those He loves. Therefore, we are not always getting roses and candy from God. He brings us into challenging patches of life (always loving us) to draw us closer to Him. The Christian walk is not without bruises, bumps, scratches, and scars. Inevitably, walking in a fallen world demands that we are sometimes roughed up.
Thankfully, we have a high priest who has identified with our sufferings. Jesus came into flesh, into the form of man, so that He could save us from ourselves, so that He could truly identify with His creation. He has been tempted and tried and rose victorious. He has been weighed on the scales of humanity and found wanting, but we know that He has been exalted to the right hand of the Father.
I realize now (well, again) that any anxiety I experience in my life is only fruit of a wrong response to the challenges I face. Jesus taught that worrying doesn’t add a day to your life. The hairs of our head are numbered and worth more than sparrows. Can you imagine? The God of the Universe lovingly strokes through our hair, knowing exactly how many hairs on are the top of our heads (maybe even all the grey ones, too :))!
Praise be to the Lord Jesus Christ, who is with the broken in spirit!