Shared Sufferings

“For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps.”—1 Peter 2:21 (NKJV)

Christianity is not a quick fix for the problems of the world. Jesus was very clear that life on earth would be difficult. There will be pain and suffering in this life of ours. There will be good times and bad times regardless of our status or circumstance. No one is exempt. Yet Jesus also spoke of an abundant life. A life of joy, peace, grace, and love. Sometimes it seems as though those two ideas are at odds. How can suffering and an abundant life coexist?

I recently heard a worship leader named Jason Upton say, “Christianity is not a magic pill that you take to make your life better. As a Christian, you become a midwife. You sit with people as they push through their pain.” This thought changed my perspective on so many levels. I’ve been a midwife to several friends and family members. There isn’t much you can physically do to alleviate their pain. The only thing you bring is your presence. You keep telling them that they can get through it. And you talk about the precious gift of life that awaits them on the other side. 

This is such a beautiful picture of the Christian life. We push through the suffering to get to the precious gift of life that awaits us. Eternal life awaits us. Today’s Scripture tells us, “Christ also suffered for us.” He did not exempt Himself from the reality of the world we live in. He suffered as He knew we would. He did it to bring us eternal life, just as a woman suffers to bring forth the life of a child. And just as mothers love their children the moment they are born, so our God loves us with that kind of unconditional love.

So how do we follow in His footsteps? “Sit with someone as they push through their pain!” Help them to see that there is a God who loves them and wants to take them to the other side. That is a God I want to follow.

 

DIG: Think about a season of suffering you have endured. How did you get through it? Who walked through it with you?

DISCOVER: Read 2 Timothy 2:3.

DISPLAY: Share in the suffering of someone you love. Be present. This is the example that Jesus gave us.

About the Author

Lisa Tchividjian