Now my soul is troubled. And what shall I say, ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But for this purpose I have come to this hour. John 12:27
On Earth, pain is inevitable. There is no doubt people suffer. Injustice occurs more than we want it to. And while no one likes this, it happens anyway. As Christians, it shouldn’t surprise us when bad things happen to us. Jesus Himself warned us in John 16:33 that on earth we will have many trials. The Bible says again in 1 Peter 4:12 that it shouldn’t surprise us when (not if) we go through fiery trials. Paul tells us in Romans, that if we are to share God’s glory, we must also share His suffering. Yet, as Americans, we have become used to comfort and forgotten that suffering is a part of every believer’s life.
Let me take this thought a step further. It isn’t popular teaching, but the Bible states in Isaiah 53:10 that “it pleased the Lord to bruise Him.” Yes. You read that right. The Word says that it pleased God to bruise Jesus. It satisfied God to allow Jesus to suffer. And while this concept is against what we, as humans, consider good, God is all-knowing. His wisdom is far above ours. And He is only good and just. God allowed Christ to suffer because He knew that the tribulation Jesus endured yielded a return that blessed humanity forever. If Jesus never died on the cross, He would never raise from the dead. If He did not rise again, our sin would doom us to hell for eternity.
Thank God He allowed Jesus to suffer. Without Christ’s suffering, nothing could reconcile us to Him.
Friends, 2020 was a tough year for most of us. But I want to assure you, God has a plan in your distress. He is a good God and will not allow you to suffer in vain. He has a purpose in everything. Our trials remind us of our need for Jesus. So, instead of running from adversity, I challenge you today to ask God what you can learn from it.