Suffering and pain are never something to be welcomed, so it is quite natural and right for us to take every possible step to avoid them. We aren’t masochists. All the same, it’s easy for us followers of Christ to fall into the way of thinking that we are somehow exempt from the worst of suffering – that because we have responded to Christ’s call to come and follow Him, we will be spared the suffering that afflicts non-believers.
Nothing could be further from the truth. We only have to look at the life of Jesus Himself to see the absurdity of such thinking: Jesus was perfect, sinless, obedient to His heavenly Father’s every wish, yet He experienced the pain of rejection, betrayal by one of His disciples, and the physical, mental and spiritual anguish of the cross.
We see some of the same things in Paul’s life: false charges, unjust imprisonment, lengthy remand, no justice. Where is God in all this? The answer is that He is right beside Paul in his troubles, and that God can and does bring great good even out of the actions of the wicked people who scheme against him.
Our readings this week remind us how God stands with us in our suffering and difficulties.
|Wednesday||2 Corinthians 4:8-18|
|Thursday||1 Peter 3:8-17|
|Friday||1 Peter 4:12-19|