Daily Devotion

May 20, 2012

Made Perfect Through Suffering (2)

“If it is possible, let this cup…be taken away from me.” Mt 26:39 NLT
Sometimes in Christian circles when somebody is suffering we blame it on hidden sin. That way we think it can’t happen to us because we’re not guilty of that particular problem, right? How shortsighted, given the fact that Jesus, the sinless Son of God, exemplified suffering! In Gethsemane He didn’t stand up with false bravado and say, “Bring it on!” No, “He…bowed…his face to the ground, praying, ‘My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away…Yet…your will…be done, not mine.’” Jesus took pain and showed us how to glorify God in it. One Christian author observed: “God never promised tornadoes would skip our houses on the way to our pagan neighbors, and microbes would flee from Christian bodies. We’re not exempt from the tragedies of this world, just as God wasn’t exempt. In fact, Peter earned the strongest rebuke when he protested against the need for Christ to suffer. Jesus said, ‘Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block…you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men…If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself…take up his cross and follow me…whoever wants to save his life will lose…whoever loses his life for me will find it’ (Mt 16:23-25 NIV)…God took the worst thing that could happen—the execution of His innocent Son—and turned it into the final victory over death…He turned the design of evil into the service of good…It’s by His wounds that we are healed (Isa 53:5), and by His weakness that we are made strong.”