A Suffering Love
A Suffering Love
Jesus declared God’s love (that basic God-given need) and mercy for all mankind. That love of God was mostly shown with His faithful preaching of God’s truths, backed up with miracles for the proof of authority.
As Jesus preached God’s truth, many people were awed with the infinite beauty and wonder of God’s love for each and every one of them through the ages.
Then, to everyone’s troubled puzzlement, Jesus displayed even more of God’s love and mercy in the pain and suffering He endured during His lifetime, trial, and death. This seemed to be opposite of His power to perform miracles.
When Jesus, God Almighty, allowed mere humans to mock and ridicule Him day after day and eventually crucify Him, the ultimate in love was displayed for all the world to see forever and ever. But, the degradation and shame of humankind was also displayed forever — and ever. The most awful shame in this world is for lowly, corrupt humans to reject the self-sacrificing love of God.
In their arrogance, hatred, and jealousy, mere humans were displayed exactly as they are — foolish, sinful, and fully deserving of eternal death because of their rejection of God’s love. They rejected their own basic need for God’s almighty love. That’s like refusing food, water and shelter.
Are only the Jews to blame? Hardly. All sorts of people still reject their Savior. Jesus suffered and died for our sins — for the sins of the whole world. What does that say to us?
We are so dearly loved that even God Himself suffered and died to pay for the filthy ugliness of even our sins.
Wondering about love in this confusing world? That is love. To suffer for the sake of another’s salvation is love. Are we to do any less? Are we to reject God’s love — God’s free offer of eternal life?
How is our love for God — for Jesus? Are we honestly willing to live the way He wants us to live? Are we willing to give up all our lies, adulteries, jealousies, idolatries, hatreds, and dishonest ways? Are we willing to love even those who despise us? Are we willing to stick to the truth, no matter what is threatening us?
How is our love? Is our love based on the way Jesus has loved us? Are we being masochistic in the way we allow others to treat us, or are we lovingly suffering for the sake of saving someone in the love of Christ?
There are several cults that seem to emphasize the way they suffer for their beliefs. Are they suffering for their beliefs or their unbeliefs? Are we suffering for our beliefs or unbeliefs?
1 Peter 4:12-16 — “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing so that also at the revelation of His glory, you may rejoice with exultation. If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. By no means let any of you suffer as a murderer, or thief, or evildoer, or a troublesome meddler; but if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not feel ashamed, but in that name let him glorify God.”
Are we lovingly suffering for Christ or for our own sins? Christians are not being foolish or masochistic in their godly love and suffering. Being mocked or abused for Christ’s sake is very different from being mocked or abused for any other reason. We must always be careful to realize the reason why we feel slighted, because our sinful natures can be very deceiving
So, if we are to suffer for the sake of Christ, it must be according to God’s Word, the Bible. And, of course, we won’t know that unless we diligently study it. Anything less is not for the sake of Christ. How is our love for Christ?
( P.S. This was written in April 2005 and has not been posted anywhere. )
A Christian devotional to glorify the LORD of lords and GOD of gods.
Pray for our country.
The LORD made this day, let us rejoice and be glad in Him.
The word of the LORD is tried;
He is a shield to all who take refuge in Him.
Sing for joy in the LORD, O you righteous ones;
Praise is becoming to the upright.
How blessed are those who dwell in Thy house!
They are ever praising Thee.
Just as a father has compassion on his children,
So the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him.
O give thanks to the LORD, for He is good;
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
Glory in His holy name;
Let the heart of those who seek the LORD be glad.
Not that I have already obtained it, or have already become perfect, but I press on in order that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.