Lessons in Suffering

Though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. —Hebrews 5: 8

Jesus learned obedience, and His obedience caused Him suffering. His death on the cross was unbelievably horrific. But His suffering served to work out the eternal purpose of God. We can learn much from Him, "Who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame" (Hebrews 12: 2). Unlike Jesus, we often learn obedience the hard way. Usually, we disobey and then learn that obedience would have been much better. We learn obedience through the suffering we receive as a consequence of our disobedience. 

Suffering is a divine instrument.

All God's children will suffer. Believing in Jesus Christ as our Lord and great High Priest does not grant us immunity from suffering. We would like to believe that because we belong to God, He will protect us from any kind of pain whatsoever. But are we greater than our Lord? If Jesus suffered and learned obedience through that suffering, how much more do we need to learn the lesson? 

God uses suffering to work out His eternal purposes. He uses it also to teach us obedience, dependence, faith, grace, and patience. We can trust that God will never allow us to suffer needlessly, just as He did not allow His Son to suffer needlessly. 

Whatever challenge God places before you, obey with gladness. You don't know how God might use that suffering for your benefit and for His glory. 

Father, we rest in the fact that Your thoughts toward us are good, not evil;

that You have a glorious future for us. Help us to obey joyfully.

In Jesus' name, amen.