Reading: 1 Peter 4:12–19
When we think of suffering, it is usually in the context of trying to end it. We are constantly bombarded with advertisements of various products and services that promise us our “Best Life Now,” but we rarely stop to contemplate the reason for our suffering. We run away from suffering, cover it up, and keep it out of sight.
But Christ willingly steps into our suffering and carries it for us. His body bears each of our scars and marks, and we are healed in His weakness. There is no balm or treatment like the blood of Christ who died in our place. There is no suffering that can overtake us for in Christ we find the cure. As the poet John Donne wrote in his Holy Sonnet X:
One short sleep past, we wake eternally,
And death shall be no more; Death, thou shalt die.
Through Christ’s triumph over death on the cross, we can find peace in our suffering as we rest in the hope of that final day when we are joined with Him eternally.
Heavenly Father, in Your loving kindness You sent Your dear Son, Jesus, to suffer and die for us so that we may be joined to You eternally. Keep our hearts focused on You and allow us the strength to bear whatever suffering we have been called to and rest in Your divine promises; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Jesus, refuge of the weary,
Blest Redeemer, whom we love,
Fountain in life’s desert dreary,
Savior from the world above:
Often have Your eyes, offended,
Gazed upon the sinner’s fall;
Yet upon the cross extended,
You have born the pain of all. (LSB 423:1)
Anna Barger (Deaconess II, CTSFW)