The Restorative Power of Human Suffering
In (Colossians 1:24) Paul comments that his suffering completes Christ’s suffering. There is a lot of heavy-duty theology behind that one sentence, which we can apply to advance Jesus’ kingdom.
What is lacking in Jesus’ suffering is humanity’s lack of redemptive suffering and that people don’t accept his redemption. I heard it said that one of the things the holy angels can’t do but wish they could do is redemptive suffering.
We have the privilege of redemptive suffering, which puts us in closer union with Jesus. We establish union with Jesus through his suffering by joining in his passion. Not with sympathy or empathy, but in actuality, entering into the mind of Christ. Our present-day redemptive suffering is a consolation to Jesus during His passion.
Jesus’ death and resurrection removed eternal suffering for many of us. Still, it did not do anything to remove temporal suffering.
It is difficult for many to understand that when God wants to reward people, he often sends them trials and crosses. God does not think the way we think, so he rewards us and does us a great favor. Unfortunately, this is not always received well by the recipient. Many people perceive trials and crosses as a punishment. So, human nature looks at trials and crosses as something to be avoided. It is his will, which they reject as they do not like it. The disconnect is that they want to do God’s will, but they dislike God’s will when it comes to them in the form of a trial. They want to do God’s will to be more holy, more blessed, acquire more things, etc., but they find his crosses and trials insufferable. The carnal soul may never become able to love trials and crosses as a gift from God. Maybe they can move from tolerating them to accepting them to understanding them as part of God’s plan and a blessing to them for healing.
We are always carrying crosses and experiencing trials. If a person falls into their carnal nature, trials, and crosses can break a person. If we could embrace our trials in grace, there is great merit. With great merit, God often rewards us with more trials and crosses. But what the devil has sent us to destroy us, God can turn around for our own good and destroy the evil one. God gives us the strength to bear the suffering when we redemptively suffer.
When Jesus died and rose, he renewed so much of the damage caused by original sin, but he did not remove pain and suffering. This is because pain and suffering are necessary tools for humanity to purify their hearts. God has put a divine healing power in our pain and under our control.
How we respond to suffering can be in either nature or grace. It’s natural for humans to resist suffering. Still, so much grace is found when helping Jesus in his work.
Trials are necessary to heal us. Substitute the word trial for test. Passing tests heal us. When we have a test and don’t pass it, it only gives the illusion of going away because it submerges for a time. Soon, though, it will come to the surface again in a slightly different form to meet current stressors. Still, it’s the same exact trial in another form. If we don’t pass it again, it’ll submerge again and come back in the future in a slightly different form. What we have to do is pass the trial, the test. Once we pass the trial, we have matured as Christians. That trial goes away, and then something deeper from within our souls comes to the surface as our next major obstacle. God uses the purification process of redemptive suffering to heal hurting souls.
You become a co-worker in Jesus’ vineyard if you embrace redemptive suffering. You are simultaneously showing Him your appreciation and consoling Him. Our redemptive suffering was a consolation to Jesus during His passion. There is a synergy between combining prayer with fasting. There is also a synergy that comes from combining suffering with redemptive intentions.
To the suffering post-abortive. Practicing redemptive suffering can heal you. It gives meaning to the suffering. Living with misery becomes much more comfortable when you know that you are accomplishing this mighty work. Redemptive suffering is a big part of the post abortive’s hard work.
So, instead of wasting the suffering, learn how to suffer with purpose. Suffering well is such a wonderful gift of God to us. It joins our suffering with the passion of Christ, increasing its efficacy tremendously. Redemptive suffering can make a person handle suffering better.
Suppose we are suffering and complaining to God because we suffer. In that case, this is not redemptive suffering because there is no love. Love of suffering is a very advanced Christian state of being. It is certainly not experienced by those who live in grave sin.
Just like the synergy that comes from combining prayer with fasting, it seems reasonable that there is also synergy combining suffering and redemptive intentions. Jesus said, “I promise you that your sorrow will be turned into joy.”