The Way of Suffering

Monday June 7, 2021

Today’s Reading: Psalm 44

Because of You we are slain all day long; we are counted as sheep to be slaughtered.

Psalm 44:22

Reflection: The LORD has brought victory to us against our enemy. He has done this through His Son, Jesus Christ. While His death looked as though it was utter defeat for believers in Him, it was the very act which defeated sin and death. In our place, Jesus was was handed over to suffer. He was an object of reproach Who received mockery and ridicule from those who watched Him die. He was disgraced for all to see as punishment for crimes He didn’t commit. At the end of His life, Jesus cried out to His Father, “My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?” There was no greater sorrow known on earth than His death. And yet, there was also no greater victory than what He gained for the world that day. It was for the glory of God the Father that Jesus died, and it was for the benefit of God’s people that He sacrificed His life.

As followers of our Savior Jesus, what must we expect to endure to some degree but that which is like what He had endured? If we are being led by Him Whose journey to the Cross was the epitome of horror and pain, shouldn’t we expect to endure suffering too? We are not immune to pain because we follow Jesus. Instead, we are guaranteed to experience suffering because our Lord suffered too! Of course, not all suffering in the world is caused by God. Much is due to the sin of others and to our own sin. And yet, as in the case of Jesus, who was crucified at the hands of sinners, He had complete control to lay His own life down according to the Father’s Will to save. Nothing was taken from Him, and neither will we ever be snatched from His Hands. Even as we suffer for the cause of Christ, for the sake of glorifying God, our situations are also used for God’s Will. When we obey the LORD against the reproach of those around us, God does not forget us. Though Jesus died, He also rose by the power of the LORD. So too are we redeemed by His faithful love.

Prayer: Loving and merciful God, You are good all the time. You never cease to work all things together for the good of those Who love You. In all situations, I am blessed to be kept content by Your faithfulness and grace. Thank You for continually blessing me, for never leaving nor forsaking me, for constantly being in control of all things. Even in the most difficult times, LORD, keep me near. I pray that the assurance of Your Salvation would always provide me with hope and joy, no matter the circumstance I am called to endure for Your Namesake. Lead me in Your Way, LORD, and grant me the courage to trust in You always. In Jesus’ precious Name I pray, AMEN.

Bible-in-a-Year Reading Plan (credit: Biblestudytools.com): Acts 22:30-23:22; Judges 19; Psalm 44

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