Suffering and Hope
Suffering, to some extent, just comes with life. On the younger side, children have imaginary and literal growing pains. At the older end of life there’s a different kind of suffering from the aches and pains of aging. But it’s not just physical pain that causes suffering.
Disappointment causes suffering. So do medical problems, a job lost, a struggling relationship, financial problems, and a host of other discouraging things. But there’s something more, a mysterious and positive hope hidden in suffering if we know where to turn. Jesus suffered persecution and ultimately death on the cross, and it continues to have a powerful positive effect.
Jesus’ suffering and sacrifice opened the promise of heaven for us. In God’s holy plan for all of us, suffering is connected with hope that comes because that’s so often when we seek Him. We don’t rejoice in our hurts or anyone else’s, but we know from Scripture that our suffering is somehow tied to our hope. We are not abandoned by God when we hurt, but are reminded by Him that the price for our ultimate Hope, heaven and God’s perfect hope, was paid for by Jesus
If we recognize suffering or discouragement we can take that very moment to turn in thought and prayer to the Lord who is the source of all hope. Suffering is a signal to do just that.
Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies. 2 Corinthians 4:10