Saturday, December 08, 2012

Suffering, Glory, and Hope in Christ

Today's blog post on suffering is a short one. Several passages indicate that Jesus was destined to suffer and then to be glorified through (1) the resurrection and ascension, and (2) the repentance and forgiveness of some people from every tribe, tongue and nation. Jesus was both well aware of the details of his earthly suffering (see the post entitled "Jesus Leads his Followers into Suffering"), and the glory that was to come because of his suffering (e.g., Luke 17:22-25, 22:14-16, 24:25-27, 24:44-49, and Acts 3:17-18). And it was the knowledge of this glory that gave him the hope to endure all his trials. 

As I have meditated on the texts listed above, I've come to see that it's imperative for us to make the connection between our present suffering in Christ and our eventual glory in Christ. The glory that is gained through suffering cannot be compared to the suffering itself, and fixing our eyes on the hope of glory gives us the strength and joy to endure (see Hebrews 12:1-2). 

So if you're going through something right now and you need help, pray for the grace to take your eyes off of yourself and your circumstances, fix them on Christ and your destiny in him by meditating on his word, and then put your hope in the glory that is to come. This is not a quick fix, and it will take time and effort, but it will transform your entire vision of suffering as well as your present experience of it. 

May the Lord be near to you as you fight to fix your eyes on him. 

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