walk in the word
8Now in putting everything in subjection to him, he left nothing outside his control. At present, we do not yet see everything in subjection to him. 9But we see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone. 10For it was fitting that he, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the founder of their salvation perfect through suffering. —Hebrews 2:8-10
Suffering is the context when Jesus is first mentioned by name in the book of Hebrews. In chapter 2, verse 9, we read, “Jesus, crowned with glory and honor, because of the suffering of death.” Suffering is God’s chosen instrument in life to bring humility to His children. To each person is appointed various seasons of suffering. Even Jesus, who is perfect in everything, wasn’t spared suffering. None of us are exempt either.
God’s love is not a pampering love, it’s a perfecting love. Many Christians lose sight of this. God’s love is not revealed in, Oh, have some more cupcakes. I know you’ve had a few, but have some more. Aren’t they good? That is not God’s love. He’s not gratifying us; He’s growing us! His love is a refining love. God is using our circumstances to humble us, and to make us what He wants us to be.
You may say, I think I’d rather have your season of suffering than mine. Like the greener grass, the lives of some may appear as they’re getting off easy. But, appearances can be deceiving.
God is a God of perfect justice. He is measuring out to each one of us in different and wise ways, and it’s not all in the rear-view mirror. You can be certain more is coming. But to embrace your experience and understand God allows suffering, in turn, allows humility and wisdom to grow from it.
Christ has already walked this path, and His exaltation came through humility and suffering. How did He get the name which is above every name? How was He exalted to the right hand of God, according to Philippians 2:5-11? “Because of the suffering of death” which He endured. It is clear that God has the same in mind for all those who press on in the Christian journey.
Suffering is not an optional additive; it is the pathway of life itself. It produces humility. “Because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.” Following Jesus Christ will include suffering on the way to humility—and future exaltation.
Father, I confess I’d rather have a shortcut to humility, and exaltation that avoids any suffering. But Your Word reminds me there’s a way that can seem right to me, but in the end leads to death. I don’t like suffering, but I like even less the idea of not becoming everything You intend, and not experiencing all You have for me. Strengthen me to see the joy beyond suffering as Your Son did, and to follow in His steps. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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