There’s Benefit In Suffering

In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence. Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered. And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him,…” — Hebrews 5:7-9, ESV

Christ LEARNED. Let’s start there. Jesus, the almighty and eternal one LEARNED. It is possible for one to think on this topic, only to have his/her mind implode from within them because of the sheer magnitude of this. Jesus, who knows all, learned. What did he learn? He learned obedience. Obeying was not something that Jesus was accustomed to. But it was through suffering that taught Jesus to obey, even when it took him to a cross.

Second, Christ learned obedience through what he suffered. So this one phrase causes us to stop in our tracks and to rethink everything when suffering comes. The truth is that we will usually do anything to try to get suffering away from us—far away from us. But the truth is that so much is learned through our times of suffering, that to get rid of all suffering would be to get rid of so many times for growth and intimacy with Jesus. And I am well aware that there is so much suffering all over the world. But the truth is, God is well aware of it and actually has personal knowledge of the ultimate suffering to help every person exactly where they are.

It is this verse that causes every Christian to wrestle with and come to some conclusion about their “theology of suffering.” It can’t be ignored. But I’m convinced of this: that when suffering is embraced as the chisel that forms me into what God has in mind for me, teaching me how to obey, it is then that suffering can be appreciated. I’m not saying that it’s enjoyed, but appreciation for suffering can be a reality for me as I see suffering as a tool in the toolbox of God’s project called, “Brian.”


One comment

  1. Wonderful!!

    I, like most people, try my hardest to avoid suffering- staying clear of opportunities of grief and anguish. I feel that when these “awesome” times arise, I always try to figure them out on my own…rarely to succeed. I keep driving myself into deeper anxiety filled with darkness. Trying to solve problems on my own is never the answer, but so hard to let go of…especially since i’ve been unsuccessfully doing it my whole life…sounds overly idiotic, yet so easily true.

    I have recently moved my self, wife, and two kids to Calgary; it has been exactly a month since we moved. I have had miraculous things happen to me in the past weeks, and I have always known that it was not my doing, but the provision of my provider…My God. He continues to provide for my self and my family, especially when it is needed the most.

    Just last week, I was put in a “financial jam” that was going to royally screw us. Because I had just moved to the city, my work’s payroll was having a computer-brain-fart that wasnt able to pay me. I spent- what felt like a lifetime- my morning trying to figure out what I was going to do. I was almost in tears, almost pulled over on the highway cuz I thought that I was going to throw up cuz of the anxiety (which I dont normally have problems with). I was playing my role as a “man” and husband…the “provider” for my family. The failure…….? After suffering with it, I knew that I wasn’t able to “fix” it. I was done. We WERE screwed

    BUT…In my sorrow and suffering, I hear Him ask me,” What is the one thing that you have not done?” And I knew at that very second, that I WAS NOT GOING TO DO IT…HE WAS.

    I turned around…I brought my hardship to the One that IS the provider and laid it at His feet. “I”, was not the answer. “HE”, IS!

    My suffering brought an “intimate” time with Jesus, in which I realized that I can do what I can, but that none of what I do can be done without my Lord, my God, my Jesus.

    I was terrified and scared and had no answer, but to realize that I always knew my answer. Him…

    I prayed and left my dilemma at the foot of Christ and then instantly felt lifted up. I went into my worksite and signed out some materials that I would be able to take in 5 or so minutes. So I went back to my vehicle to wait. I had been in the warehouse for only minutes till I was back in my van. My phone rang… Work was calling to say that they figured it out and that I was to have funds in my bank account that night at midnight…

    I dropped my phone and lifted my hands up to the sky aka. the roof of my work-van, and gave a “HALLELUJAH” !!

    Suffering completely sucks…but, boy does it bring growth- just as you said. It feels like the end of the world, but when you get through it WITH GOD at your side, the learning and prosperity in it, is perfection…everything I needed. I can’t do it…HE CAN!!

    Lesson learned: bring EVERYTHING to The Father.


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