Those words cited in the title, written by Paul to a young Timothy, are sobering to be sure. (2 Timothy 2:3) But, they take on a new – painful – meaning when we suffer. I’ve always said that “suffering as Christians” is that side of the gospel we rarely hear preached about on Sundays.
Something has happened to my family since our son/brother, Jordan, took his life and walked into Paradise. We see the pain of the world. More than that though, we can feel it. (Just like Jordan did.)
But this has only made my/our purpose on planet earth more acute. For we’ve now experienced that, even in our most unspeakable suffering, Jesus is there. My hurting friends – there is Hope. There is Peace. There is Love. There if Life. His name is Jesus Christ. He suffered too.
When we hurt, Christ hurts. But, more than that, He absorbs our hurt retroactively from the Cross. From Isaiah 53….
“He was despised and rejected— a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way. He was despised, and we did not care. Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for his own sins! But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed.” (53:3-5)
The Bible (as well as extrabiblical ancient history) tells us: Jesus. Did. Suffer. Horribly. However, He now lives and reigns. And because of this, Paul encouraged the suffering Roman believers, “Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later.” (8:18)
The photo here is today’s entry from the devo, Jesus Calling. To all who are hurting, weary, confused, angry, suffering…..Jesus is whispering to you, “I’ve got this. Trust Me.” Soli Deo Gloria, Nick