Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Does our suffering draw us closer to Christ?

By Erika Rizkallah

This morning in my quiet time readings, I was led once again to passages in the Bible about suffering.  
Do you ever ask, "Why me?" 

I do and the plain answer is I don't know and maybe I never will. Strangely, I'm ok with that. If we spend too much time reflecting about the internal and external reasons for it, we can find ourselves in the midst of an epic pity party.

This can turn all our thoughts inward as opposed to better questions like What can I do with this Lord? How do I glorify you with it?

In the Greek language the word for suffering is pascho, which also means endure. It's a verb and is used 42 times in the New Testament. The short answer in both the Old and New Testaments is that suffering improves character.

I love how Oswald Chambers approaches the subject in the devotional My Utmost For His Highest.

He says, "How can we say, 'It could never be God's will for me to be sick'? If it was God's will to bruise His own Son (Isaiah 53:10), why shouldn't he bruise you? What shines forth and reveals God in your life is not your relative consistency to an idea of what a saint should be, but your genuine, living relationship with Jesus Christ, and your unrestrained devotion to Him whether you are well or sick."
How do you feel about that? Can you identify ways in which your suffering has improved your character or drawn you closer to Christ?

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