“Religion is man’s attempt to reach God, and Jesus Christ was God’s attempt to reach man.”
Happy Easter! I hope that you each had a wonderful weekend celebrating this sacred blessing reflecting on Christ's gift to us.
This week is synonymously associated with Christ's suffering on the cross for the sins of the world. In keeping with the Easter theme, I want to talk about the word suffering.
It is unfortunate, but many people assume that becoming a Christian means that life is supposed to become stress and pain free. However, the Bible does not say anything about our lives becoming that.
If you are wanting to read a little bit more and study a small portion of scripture that has to do with suffering I would encourage you to read the book of 1 Peter. The central theme of the entire book is what Christians should do with suffering and how we are to live in the midst of suffering.
Life is not always going to be a bed of roses and many times our struggles will be the result of the fact that we are Christians. Jesus reminds us that the world will hate us but that they hated him first.
Peter explains this and points out that we are blessed if we suffer for doing the right thing. But we need to rejoice when we do face trials and sufferings because Christ suffered first and did so even though he was blameless on our behalf so that we would not have to suffer for eternity.
The word "rejoice" is very interesting to me because I rarely, if ever, have found myself rejoicing in the fact that I am facing hardship, and I am sure none of you are familiar with this feeling either. But Peter is not alone in scripture when he refers to rejoicing in the midst of suffering. Both James and Paul talk about rejoicing in the midst of trials, (James 1:2-4; Romans 5:3-5) but I think that Philippians 4:4 sums this up where it says "Rejoice in the Lord always."
Our rejoicing takes place in our Lord and Savior who went to Calvary's cross to suffer and die on our behalf so that we would not have to suffer and die. There is no greater reason to rejoice every day than in the fact that Jesus came to earth in an attempt to reach us and have a relationship with us.
Final Thought: I want to leave you with this anonymous quote that I heard once; "Religion is man's attempt to reach God, and Jesus Christ was God's attempt to reach man."
Posted April 15, 2007 | Ryan Is currently a student at Northwest University and is working toward his degree in Pastoral ministries.
Good article| Posted July 03, 2007
This is a good article, and it is good to know how we should respond to suffering. It's so easy for me to get frustrated and become bitter when I'm suffering, whether from my circumstances, doubt, or anything else. It's a great thing to know that the Lord's still working even though we don't enjoy the situation. This is something that everyone would do well to follow.