Body Betrayed | Body Disabled

Welcome to My Story ~ Updated 10/30/16

My newest posts display their full text. Older posts will only display one paragraph.
To read the rest of an older post, click on "Click here to Read the Rest of this
Post" link at the bottom of the post.

You can email me at

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Holy Week Meditation -- Tuesday, March 30, 2010

We looked at suffering in connection with sickness yesterday. Now, let us look at suffering in connection with hardships. Let me cast a very wide net here so hardships include issues like: burden bearing, oppression, mistreatment, disasters, crisis situations, persecution, family/relationship problems, money problems, job problems--you get the point!

Three facts standout about these hardships. First, some hardships are called "Acts of God" and are the result of natural forces. The recent earthquakes in Haiti and Chile are prime examples of suffering hardships caused by nature. Everyone in the area is touched by the event, everyone suffers. Nature is no respecter of persons. Second, sometimes hardships are caused by others. Just this week we read about the Moscow Metro bombing in Russia where thirty-eight people died. In our own nation, the FBI just arrested several who planned a mass attack on police across the country. And who can forget the ever present threat of terrorism. There are plenty of people in our fallen world who have no problem causing hardships and sufferings to those around them. Third, we often cause a lot of our own suffering and hardship. Usually because of our poor choices. I don't need to preach about this--we all understand what I mean. Like sickness, suffering and hardships are part of life; they go hand-in-hand.

 The Bible is full of stories where people suffer hardships for various reasons. I think of Joseph and all the suffering he endured. I think of Moses and his hardships and suffering as the leader of God's people. I think of David fleeing his own palace because Absolam, his own son, wanted him dead. I think of Elijah hiding from Ahab by the brook Cherith. I think of the Weeping Prophet, Jeremiah, proclaiming God's Word day after day, but no one really heeding his words. I think of Hosea marrying an unfaithful prostitute to demonstrate the unfaithfulness of Israel to God. I think of Paul and the other Apostles and the sufferings they endured. In all of their sufferings, its was faith that saw them through. It is that same faith in God that sustains us in our sufferings as well.

Hebrews 11:32-40 says it better than I can about hardships, sufferings, and faith. And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets: Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection: And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect. In all of these hardships, faith overcame suffering.

The greatest example of suffering in the Bible is that of Christ. The deepest, darkest part of His suffering began during the Last Supper when He was troubled in His heart about the betrayal to come. It intensified during the anguished prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane. His suffering climaxed just before His death, mid-afternoon on Friday. We call the suffering of Christ and the events of His crucifixion His "Passion." His "passion" was for us, on our behalf, in our place.

Isaiah 53:3-6 tells of God's Suffering Servant who would bear away our own suffering. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

As we continue to reflect on Holy Week, let us not forget the One who faced ultimate suffering, so that one day our suffering would end. Soli Deo Gloria.

No comments: