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Daily Reading: Deuteronomy 16:1-17:20 ESV, Luke 9:7-27 ESV, Psalm 72:1-20 ESV, Proverbs 12:8-9 ESV

Daily Verse: “Saying, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.” (Luke 9:22 ESV)

PASCHO (3958): “Used only in certain tenses for it; appar. A primary verb; to experience a sensation or impression (usually painful).  Of the ‘sufferings’ of Christ at the hands of men.”[i]

Painful impression.

When I think of suffering, a painful impression doesn’t describe my thoughts.  Agony, physical and mental, align with my definition of suffering better. 

Christ suffered physically at the hands of men, tortured with whips that dug into His flesh.  When they placed the crown of thorns on Jesus’s head, the pointy spikes pressed into His scalp, causing streams of blood to pour down His face.  And the guards drove spikes through Jesus’ hands and feet, just a few ways the Lord suffered on our behalf.

Mentally, Jesus endured the taunts of the guards and people.  At the height of His pain, Jesus cried out to God:

“Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46 ESV)

Enduring pain.

Jesus endured pain and suffering because He understood His purpose.  Without a doubt, Christ knew why He did what He did.  Because Jesus knew His mission, He could endure the pain.

If we understand the end game, it helps us keep going.  Knowing God uses the circumstances of this world to build our character and prepare us for eternity helps us endure the sufferings we encounter.  When pain comes our way, we can persevere, knowing God will use it for His good, like He used Jesus’ sufferings for our good.

“But pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”

C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain[ii]

Pain gets our attention like nothing else.  We don’t think as much about God during the good times of life.  But when we experience pain, we want God to intervene.  Suffering draws us closer to God, leading us to His grace, helping us discover unspeakable joy through Jesus.

[i] Strong, J., & Strong, J. (2010). The New Strong’s expanded exhaustive concordance of the Bible. Greek Dictionary of the New Testament (p. 194) Thomas Nelson


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