On Suffering



 When trials come, and often they are many–reflecting on the words of Christ can bring us through to the other side. For whatever thorns we suffer, it  pales to what HE did for all of us.  

 In my humanness, I feel feel frail and vulnerable, but Christ is here, by my side, giving me strength and courage to carry on. We are to be servants, we are to love despite persecution and condemnation and we are called to suffer and carry our own cross. 

We know that scripture tells us that if we follow Him, we have to be willing to lose family and friends for His sake–and willingly we stand up and say, “We are willing. We will suffer for you. We will follow you.”

Why then, if I know that–is it so difficult to do?

The passage from Isaiah below is a favorite one of mine and of my husband; it brings into perspective, the servants heart-and the openness of Our Lord to endure so much suffering without opening his mouth in protest. 

Lord forgive my failure to see the greater picture and thank you for the grace to endure our daily suffering.

   Behold, my servant shall prosper, he shall be exalted and lifted up,and shall be very high. As many were astonished at him ­­his appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance,

and his form beyond that of the sons of men ­­so shall he sprinkle many nations; kings shall shut their mouths because of him; for that which has not been told them they shall see, and that which they have not heard they shall understand.

Who has believed our message? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?

 For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or comeliness that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.

But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that made us whole, 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 has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth.

By oppression and judgment he was taken away; and as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people?

And they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth.

Yet it was the will of the LORD to bruise him; he has put him to grief; when he makes himself an offering for sin, he shall see his offspring, he shall prolong his days; the will of the LORD shall prosper in his hand; he shall see the fruit of the travail of his soul and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous; and he shall bear their iniquities.

Therefore I will divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he poured out his soul to death, and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.–Isaiah 52-53

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