"When the Rain's come, it's not like the might, they do, It Rains in our lives a lot." - Rob
A. Christ Death - The Suffering Of God Was Our Path To Salvation
1. Matthew 16:21 Then Jesus made it clear to his disciples that it was now necessary for him to go to Jerusalem, submit to an ordeal of suffering at the hands of the religious leaders, be killed, and then on the third day be raised up alive. (Christ suffering was the cross -the sin (the fear, seperation, and death) that resulted from that burden)
2. 1 Peter 2:22-25 "He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth." When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls. (His suffering was a ransom, a redemption, a blood money for ME)
B. Satan and Old Self Seeks Constant Comfort
1. Matthew 16:22-23 Peter took him in hand, protesting, "Impossible, Master! That can never be!"
But Jesus didn't swerve. "Peter, get out of my way. Satan, get lost. You have no idea how God works." (Immediately the "shackles of the comfort of the couch" twist the body with justification against a path with pain)
2. Phillipans 3:19-19 For, as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things. (It is ungodliness to live for comfort)
C. Protecting Ourselves From Suffering Shields Us From Experiencing God
1. Matthew 16:24-26 Then Jesus went to work on his disciples. "Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You're not in the driver's seat; I am. Don't run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I'll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self. What kind of deal is it to get everything you want but lose yourself? What could you ever trade your soul for? (We are invited to Suffer WITH Christ as path to Shalom peace)
2. Romans 5:3-4 Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. (This shalom peace is our evidence of God's love)
My Summary On Suffering
To Many of us, who even call ourselves Christians, have never actually experienced the REAL LOVE power of God because we have never suffered. We have lived in a Christianity of comfort and convience. Yet the Cross itself is an instrument of death. A Capitol Punishment that resulted in the ultimate suffering as it killed. We are invited to this path to experience God's love. We must understanding that the most profound love of the father in seen in the circumstance of our suffering.
A person who has never suffered under the penalty of law. We know that our "wage", our life's earnings is eternal death. The law of God convicts us to an eternity of unending suffering. We undertsand God's love, we embrace that love when we accept that we do not deserve the "peace" of God, but our salvation is found in his righteousness that brings deliverance from that suffering. He "Bore" our suffering that is Love
A person who has never suffered for the cause of Christ. When we live for only Christianity that meets our needs, instead of a faith of sacrifice and sleflessness, we can not know the "peace" from being given the strength to accomplish that which was impossible for man. We must suffer for Christ to be available to see the love that is miracle of deliverance.
A person who has never had personal suffering, has never seen the father who is there to comfort and provide for his children every need. If we have never had need, whether that is physical or emotional than we can never understand the point of God's love that jeremiah is experiencing when he writes, "The Lord is My Portion Says My Soul"