You and I will suffer at some stage in our lives. That is just a fact of life. But the question is how are we going to deal with our suffering?
The biggest question for a belief system whether it be a religion, a philosophy or some other worldview is how does this belief system help me suffer?
Christianity is unique among worldviews because at the centre of Christianity is a God who comes into our world and suffered for us and like us and therefore we can go to him when we suffer.
Here is how Mark Driscoll helpfully puts this idea in his latest book Who Do You Think You Are?: Finding Your True Identity in Christ:
For those who are afflicted and in Christ, Jesus is a God to whom you can speak personally. You can run to him and walk with him. Jesus Christ didn’t sit back in his heavenly ease and from a safe distance give us mere counsel for our suffering. Instead, he entered into human history to identify with us. He was tempted. He wept. He was poor and homeless. His family rejected him. His friends abandoned him. His disciples betrayed him. His enemies falsely accused him. The government unfairly tried and condemned him. The soldiers mercilessly beat him beyond recognition. He bled, suffered, and died in shame. And he did it all for God’s glory and your good.
Jesus is our sympathetic High Priest, who gives grace to the hurting and promises justice to the unrepentant. He is preparing a place for us, and he’s given us God the Spirit as our Comforter until he returns, so we can live out of our identity in Christ. One day, we will see Christ face to face. Our faith will be sight. His nail-scarred hands will wipe our tears away. One day, all who are in Christ will sing his praises and see his glory together forever. One day, he will work out all things for the good of those who love him. One day, all our questions will be answered, our hopes will be realized, and our fears will be forgotten. Until that day, we will be afflicted, but our identity in Christ need not be affected.
When we are suffering we have a faithful high priest that can sympathize with us in our weakness! What a great God we serve!
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