Wow! It might be exciting to think of being set apart for God (sanctified) or being made holy, but it can lose its excitement when the act of being set apart comes by undergoing pain, distress, and/or hardship (suffering).
Pastor Beck shared a two part series that ended yesterday on this topic of being sanctified through purposeful suffering that God allows. It is so easy to become bitter over the pain and suffering in our lives if we lose sight of the eternal purpose of the suffering that God allows. Pain and suffering is not meant to bring bitterness, but instead is designed to bring brokenness.
In George Barna’s book, Maximum Faith: Live Like Jesus, he list 10 stops on the journey from not knowing God to being totally whole and living the life that Christ has made available to us. Ninety five percent of the people that start this journey never make it to step seven. Step seven is Experiencing Personal Brokenness.
Brokenness can open us to the life that Christ died on the cross for us to experience. Brokenness can help us realize that salvation is not just a simple prayer, and we can come to understanding that we cannot save ourselves. We can come to the point of realizing that we truly need God – all the time, in every situation, and for the rest of our life.
What is God doing in you and me through the suffering that we have experienced or are experiencing right now in our lives? Why are we so uncomfortable with suffering? Would we truly be better people if we knew no sorrow, suffering, or pain?
Hebrews 5:8-9 “Even though Jesus was God’s Son, he learned obedience from the things he suffered. In this way, God qualified him as a perfect High Priest, and he became the source of eternal salvation for all those who obey him.”
If suffering played such a powerful role in the life of Christ – what kind of role is it meant to play in your life?