“God foresaw your tribulation and has specifically armed you to go through it not without pain but without stain”. - CS Lewis
A week before Christmas friends of ours had their two sons involved in a tragic, rear end, car crash that put them both in medically induced comas for brain injuries and embarking on a long journey of rehabilitation. The young man that caused the crash died at the scene. The incredible Christian character of this couple was brought to mind this past Sunday.
Our pastor, Bobby Dagnell, who is credited for the following lesson, spoke out of 1 Peter 2:21-25. His lesson gave deeper consideration to the question, ‘Why do Christians suffer?’
1 Peter 2:21-25 To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. "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.
As Christians we need to remember that we are called by God. He has chosen us and we have accepted the call to follow Him. We live in a world broken by sin but we are His disciples and when we suffer we endure it patiently, we follow His example and endure.
When we endure patiently we are trusting God for our present and our future. We have elected to be a part of God’s plan a small part of something much larger than we can see or understand. God called us, we answer with our obedience even as the purpose of our obedience remains unseen.
As Disciples of Christ our reactions to the bad things that happen can have eternal consequences to those around us. The many that are lost see what we do and their response to Christ’s message will be colored by our actions. If we are a poor representation of what God’s love is to us how can we expect others to desire the same experience?
Through the wonders of technology we have traveled with our friends via blog postings on the boy’s medical conditions and progress: as they have offered condolences and grace to the family of the boy that died, as they have endured, sought comfort and rest in the arms of our Savior, and been an example of His love to so many who have been brought into contact with their suffering.
Through the wonders of technology the response of their Christian family was worldwide and immediate. The power of God’s saints joining together in His name has demonstrated His glory and power and He has been praised.
We are called. We live in a broken world full of sin. We have and will suffer. We must endure patiently for our purpose is but a small part. We are following Christ’s example because the eternity of so many depend on us.
"Evil exists in the world, good lives in the spirits of God's children and from the reservoir of redeemed hearts, prevailing prayer can issue forth when no words are spoken." The Trial by Robert Whitlow