The purpose of suffering
It did me good to have been afflicted, because that is how I came to know your decrees. Psalm 119: 71
After spending thirty-five years in a wheelchair due to an accident that left her paralyzed at the age of seventeen, Joni Eareckson Tada said: “I think we all want to know Christ, we want to know the power of his resurrection. Even so, not many of us want to know the communion of his suffering, and no one wants to be like him in his death.
The apostle Paul said in Philippians 3:10 that “becoming like him in his death” is the way to know “the power that was manifested in his resurrection” and to “share in his sufferings.” We are conformed to his death by dying to our old sin nature. And that hurts!
God, motivated by His goal to make us look like Jesus (Romans 8:29), brings us face to face with what is least like Christ. Maybe it’s our impatience, our anger, our love of comfort, our fear of the future, our desire to do things our way. Dying to all these things is the only way we can become like Christ, thus fulfilling God’s supreme plan for us. If God is showing you, perhaps through pain, something you must leave behind … then leave it!
Jesus’ power and communion with him are realized when we learn to accept suffering as Christ accepted it.
© 2007 Editorial Vida (Dr. David Jeremiah) For more information please visit us at www.decisivemoment.org .
PO Box 3804
San Diego, CA 92163-1804