Monday, June 25, 2012


Is following Christ all glory - or take up your cross and follow me. My experience has been one of joy and suffering. They do not seem to fit in the same sentence however it is what it is.

Suffering  comes in a several forms:
Pain - is the most known , we read of the suffering of God's people throughout history and of Christ on his way to the cross. Pain is something we all deal with eventually , some have more tolerance than others. I do not believe in flagellation or deliberate pain, it may have been a practice of some of the early Christian mystics but I see no need for it.

Disappointment - In others we may have lost  trust or in ourselves can lead to a self imposed suffering. When our expectations are not met. Perhaps sin that we thought we had overcome.
We must always trust in God's grace it is truly the divine element. Perhaps a lost love, or friend maybe you saw your girlfriend or boyfriend kissing another, emotional suffering is also real.
We are to trust no one, not to say become overly suspicious or jealous but attachment of feelings can lead to painful separation. There is a way to have love but not be possessive.

Doubt - Yes, it is often we suffer from not believing we are good enough. Maybe you have been fooled into thinking you are not beautiful. Not saying we all have perfect bodies and minds but we should never let anyone control us into thinking we are not good enough. Yes- we all have sinned but grace is sufficient. Yes - we may not be the best athlete but can walk with God. Blessed assurance is knowing  who you are and accepting the truth, be not deceived. You are a child of God once you have knowledge of grace and salvation. Judge not lest you be judged. Jesus came to show us grace and truth not to judge.

Separation - Loneliness can be a form of suffering , being separated from family or a friend at a time when they are most needed. I believe this is the worst suffering- separation being apart from your loved ones. Soldiers and sailors often go through this it is more more painful than a wound and is often traumatic. Jesus was separated at the cross from His Father, why has thou forsaken me. I believe it was to experience the ultimate suffering of separation. There is nothing more painful than separation from God. It effects us in body , mind and spirit our health is affected , our joy is stolen. We often will feel periods of separation from God maybe from sin or to walk in faith. After awhile God removes our training wheels - with a little push we go forward in faith, like a child riding a bicycle on their own. God is watching to pick us up and is happy for our success. Only faith pleases God.
Matthew 3:17 
And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. 

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