Hi everyone, I’m back with another subject that I feel is important to living a for filling Christian life, it’s something I’ve given the title of “The art of suffering” and how suffering is a vital part of taking up your cross.
Now, what do I mean by taking up your cross? Well, in Luke 9:23 it says “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me” I see the idea of taking up your cross as, being able to understand that the trials that we face in our lives, while at times, having heartbreaking consequences, are used to strengthen us, and being able to find God’s face when there’s nothing but darkness. As for denying ourselves? Well in times of trouble and suffering, i see it as asking “What’s God Doing in me through this?” rather than “Why is God putting me through this?” Now that’s not to say this is easy, because not dwelling on how bad things are at that moment and being able to see that God is using the bad for his glory, for me at least, is pretty challenging. But that’s one of the many wonders of God’s unfailing love, he’s able to bring us hope in the most hopeless situations, and even if it doesn’t seem like it at the time, God always uses these things for our good.
And now, to “The art of suffering” Now, on first glance, this expression doesn’t seem like the most joyous term to describe what’s one of the greatest honors of the Christian life; suffering for Good. In 1 peter 2 (19-21) it says “For it is commendable if someone bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because they are conscious of God. But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps” I feel that this is one of the more overlooked passages in our everyday prayer lives, A lot of us including my self, forget that suffering for righteousness is a consequence of following Jesus, Now, that’s not to say that suffering is of God, but more to understand that, in this fallen world, we will suffer for doing God’s will. Whether that’s financially, or the loss or friendships or otherwise. This is why I refer to suffering for righteousness as an art form, as with any sort of art, practice is important. We need to be willing to follow God’s plans daily, even at the detriment of our own, we need to be willing to put our worldly desires aside and be willing to pick up our crosses in order to follow Christ, and we need to be willing to suffer for the glory of the kingdom. The goodness and glory of God will over shadow any suffering, no matter how harsh, because our god is a god of love and compassion.
Thank you for reading, and May God bless you.