When We Suffer

When it hurts, it’s hard to focus on anything else but the lingering pain. Hope seems so distant; if any, the only glimmer of hope is of a hypothetical reality when the pain goes away and life goes on like a normal day. Truth be told, it is hard to focus on anything but ourselves as we try to define the hurt that alienates and fills up the mind with a strange kind of juice. We may think we are the exception — that we’re the most miserable person walking on the planet. But we are not the exception — everyone has been there as well. Maybe not to the point where everything is identical, but everyone has their own share of the same breed of pain. Like the problem of sin incessantly trying to penetrate our skin, going deep into our hearts, we’ve all been there. There is none but one exception, Jesus Christ.

Full of naivety, my eyes used to quickly glance over the words ‘Jesus loves you and He understands your pain.’ I felt that these words don’t help at all. Sure, the pity is on me to think that these simple words could somehow solve everything. I hoped for the pain to be crushed and for everything to be okay, but unfortunately for me, it didn’t.

It felt so wrong for me to dismiss the fact that Jesus once suffered as well, even with a fate much ill than any of ours. But is the news of His suffering meant for our comfort? Can we expect ease when we compare our suffering with Christ’s? Do we perhaps even think that we have suffered more than Christ?

But Christ’s suffering isn’t meant to be compared to ours. His suffering is not limited to the barbaric torture carried out by the Roman soldiers. No, His suffering is truly incomparable; all the wrath of God was poured out on Him — all our afflictions though unseen were cast on Him in the Calvary. We aren’t meant to compare Christ’s suffering because it is absolutely above our understanding, that God Himself had absorbed all our iniquities and be judged as a sinner for the sake of His justice and holiness to be upheld; for He desires that we may join His fellowship full of eternal delight.

Hey, Jesus does love you and He understands your pain, more than you know. He is both God and man, lived a perfect life so death can be put to shame and that we may be brought back to the Father, shameless. All of them are paid in full on the cross, through Christ, winning the most victorious battle in the cosmos. We thought that He was the most miserable human being on the planet, not knowing that it is our iniquities that He bore. He holds us fast for the sake of His name — a glorious one that deserves all our honor. Through the suffering of Christ, we see an eternal end so glorious; not because of how much we suffer or how miserable we are — no, it is because of what He did. In spite of our pain, Christ deserves our full attention for He Himself suffered a death we wouldn’t survive.

Christ suffered not so that we wouldn’t suffer — no, He suffered to show that there is a reward of glorious future when we remain heartily obedient as He did toward the Father. When we suffer, hope humanly as Jesus did, that we ask may this cup pass over us, but in the foremost, may Your will be done, Father. His suffering is an example that we should set our eyes onto God when the pain starts sinking in, knowing that He is the One who holds all things in the universe and everything is created for Him alone. Christ is the reason why we can suffer well for He truly knows all our pain and beyond, and by Him we’re freed from an eternal kind of suffering that leads to nothing but an infinite abyss of regret. Our suffering will be the markings our pilgrimage toward an existence where we find our fullness of joy in being with Him eternally. Those marks will testify that He remains Our One True Sovereign God, in all His holiness, justice, and divine love.

When we suffer, see Christ. He understands, more than you know.

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