|"For it was fitting that he, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the founder of their salvation perfect through suffering." Hebrews2:10|
Some of you may be suffering from chronic pain or illness. Some of you have friends or family members that suffer physically and don't know how to encourage them. There is much frustration and disappointment that goes along with physical limitations and you can double that if you are a mom.
You are tired of hearing that if you eat all raw food you won't suffer. You have heard the countless stories of how others have overcome their illness and if you pray hard enough you will too. Some of you have even been told that your suffering would end if you could just repent of that one sin that you are holding on to or forgive that one person in your past that has hurt you.
My friends, the believer is never brought into suffering because God is angry with us. The gospel has obliterated all punishment due. Because of Christ our hearts can rest knowing that there is nothing left to clear up. He has paid the way and we can now live in glorious freedom as a result.
I don't know the extent of your suffering but I do know that suffering of any kind needs a constant drip of the gospel in order to endure. I hope that you will benefit from these gospel truths that have been spoken to me countless times.
Your identity is not in your diagnosis or circumstances; it is in Christ:
"For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory." Colossians 3:3-4
Christ suffers along the side of you:
"For as we share abundantly in Christ's sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too." 2 Corinthians 1:5
He will use you to comfort others in their suffering:
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God."
2 Corinthians 1:3-4
He delights in you even when you are not delightful:
"The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing." Zephaniah 3:17
He is faithful even when you are not responding in faith:
"If we are faithless, he remains faithful— for he cannot deny himself." 2 Timothy 2:13
He is right beside you and will not let you go:
"I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade on your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life. The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore." Psalm 121