Focus Above – 10/1/06 – Suffering is Inevitable

Job 5:7

“Yet man is born to trouble as surely as sparks fly upward.”

How do we, as Christians, cope with the problem of unmerited suffering? The first thing we must do is to recognize that in a universe whose balance has been greatly upset by sin, undeserved suffering is bound to come. Face this, and you are halfway to turning the problem into a possibility. In an Indian palace, many years ago, a child was born whose parents decided to keep all signs of decay and death from him. When he was taken into the garden, maids were sent before him to remove all the decaying flowers and fallen leaves, so that he would be protected from all signs of suffering and death. One day, however, he left his home and, while wandering through the streets, came across a corpse. His reaction was so strong that he set about establishing the teaching that, as life is fundamentally suffering, the only thing to do is to escape into Nirvana, the state of extinction of self. The young man was Guatama Buddha, whose beliefs are shared by millions of his followers, not only in India but around the world. His philosophy is a dramatic and tragic result of trying to protect oneself from the realities of life, one of which is suffering. The Christian faith is the opposite of that: it exposes us to the very heart of suffering – the cross. Then it takes that suffering, and turns it into salvation. This is why Christians should not be afraid to face the worst that can happen – because with God it can be turned into the best.

I like the truth of this.  We, as Christians, realize that we live in a fallen world.  Things are not going to always go right.  In fact, we are promised the opposite.  We are also a people who need to understand that we are a special people.  Our religion is based on suffering.  After the Fall of Man, God shed the blood of animals to cover Adam and Eve.  Because of sin, man and the rest of creation suffered.  With our redemption, it was imperitive that suffering occur.  With suffering we fell.  With suffering we are redeemed.  Let us remember that Christ’s suffering was so that we would not have to suffer after this life.

~ EE

Published in: on October 1, 2006 at 2:21 am  Comments (1)  

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. EE,

    All human suffering is merited. It is the consequence both of original sin and our own personal sin. Since we all deserve death by virtue of our own sin, nothing we suffer on this earth should be so easily tossed aside.

    Remember, “he who does not take up his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.” Matt 10:38

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