Obedience through suffering…
July 3rd, 2019
Not all suffering is directly linked to our growth through obedience, but virtually all suffering can be instrumental in forming our identity with Christ Jesus. While many of you may contend suffering and obedience are unrelated, the scripture says differently.
If we suffer for a purpose that is one thing, but often times we can’t see the purpose. We can’t even imagine that there could be a reason for it at all, yet we do realize that God uses us in spite of what we are not because of what we are.
Although he was a son, he learned obedience through the things he suffered. And by being perfected in this way, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him, and he was designated by God as high priest in the order of Melchizedek.
Hebrews 5:8-10 (NET)
Yes, even the Son of God learned obedience through suffering.
How appropriate for us as disciples of Christ Jesus to use our suffering as our classroom for obedience. When we comprehend more and more the suffering that Jesus withstood then our suffering doesn’t seem so senseless.
There is purpose in pain, if nothing more than seeing to it that we remember the suffering that Jesus went through to accomplish the greatest act of Love imaginable. That act, that love, was in perfect obedience to the Father who sent his son a rescue mission to save each and every person that would lay claim to the Grace of the Son for their redemption. So we, could have a life now and forever in fellowship with God.
Therefore we do not despair, but even if our physical body is wearing away, our inner person is being renewed day by day. For our momentary, light suffering is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison because we are not looking at what can be seen but at what cannot be seen. For what can be seen is temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (NET)
I experience pain every day. I don’t talk about it a lot. My spouse is aware of it, but I do my best to minimize the discomfort and press on regardless. Because not to do that would allow the pain to be my master.
It’s not always easy and most of the time it feels like what impossible looks like. What I’ve learned is that the best thing I can do is to distract myself from it. One of the better means of doing that is to consider the pain of others. Others can and should include Jesus our Lord.
My spouse is in a great deal of constant pain. She celebrates new pain because it tends to mask the effects of old pain that has eaten away at her for so long. I undoubtably will catch some flak from her when she realizes that she’s become a subject of one of these devotionals.
That’s okay, I’m a big boy, I can take it.
One soothing thing to consider in our pain is the fact that this is all temporary. There will come a day and hour when pain will be vanquished forever. No more pain, no more weakness, no more health issues, no more of everything that weighs us down here.
He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death will not exist any more – or mourning, or crying, or pain, for the former things have ceased to exist.
Revelation 21:4 (NET)
It’s just a little longer till that day that Jesus will wipe away every tear and we suddenly will realize that the pain is gone; literally, gone forever more!
The amazing thing about pain is through it, we can narrow the gap between His love and our frailty. We never realize how we depend on him and owe him such a debt of gratitude until we view him through our pain. Short of him, the pain oft times would be unbearable. If it were not for the prize that awaits most of us would have fallen by the way side.
And if children, then heirs (namely, heirs of God and also fellow heirs with Christ) – if indeed we suffer with him so we may also be glorified with him.
Romans 8:17 (NET)
If we rest in him then the waiting will not be very long. Time is something relative. We use it as a device to measure with, but it really is so much less than that. Especially when you consider the infinite nature of god.
But he said to me, “My grace is enough for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” So then, I will boast most gladly about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may reside in me.
2 Corinthians 12:9 (NET)
His grace is enough, when the pain is great. His grace is enough when our strength has dwindled to the breaking point. His grace is enough, when we feel inadequate and unworthy. His Grace is enough to overcome all things.
And his grace covers us in times of struggle. And if we had to go through all that pain just to learn this simple truth, it would have been enough.
Oh, “What a Pain”, oh what a savior! Each obedient step, worthwhile, as we draw closer and ever closer to the one who suffered everything for us so there wouldn’t be anything that separated us from him!
In the Grace of Jesus!