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Pain, Suffering, and Jesus

Jesus wept: burst forth into tears (cried).
-John 11:35



Jesus is with us, each one of us, in our pain and loves us.  He said, "I will be with you, even to the end of the age".

Jesus burst into tears.  Jesus cried from the grief he felt on more than one occasion, and his crying was neither fake nor out-of-control.  He authentically cried.

Sometime between the age of 12 and about 30, the most important man in his life, Joseph, died.  Later, when Jesus had to leave home and his family's business, that must have been hard.

And his brothers, who grew up with him, thought he was crazy when he began his ministry that we read about.  That had to be painful.

The majority of the people around him either did not get it, did not get him, or did not believe; and were hostile towards him, even wanting him dead.

At the end, the crowd roared, "Crucify him!".  It was real and authentic hate.  Rejection.

And, in a sense, we were in that crowd.  Something to ponder.

Jesus faced and received persecution and he suffered.

We have a savior who is familiar with grief, with suffering, and with gut wrenching pain - physical and emotional.

The way for us in pain is the way with him.  The life for us is a life of walking with someone who understands.

The challenge for us is to trust God, to let ourselves live in surrender to him.  Hear God say, "I've got this and I've got you".  He does not promise that we will not suffer, but he promises to be with us in our suffering.

Being with him is the key.

The only way in suffering is fellowship with Jesus Christ.  He is the rock to stand on in trouble.  And from that place, we can get help, wisdom, counsel, and possibly miracles.

The faulty position is to seek all that and more, but not be wed to him.

We find ourselves in a crisis, a challenge, a set-back, a disappointment, a failure or defeat.  "Help!", we cry.  We pray desperate prayers and we want to know how to escape this thing and get deliverance and relief.  "Is there perhaps a special way to pray?", we wonder.  "Is there a book I can read that will tell me what to do?", we ask.

We look at each other's lives, from "over the fence", so to speak; and think the other one has it better.  But when we get closer and hear and see, close up, we find out that our neighbor has their own troubles or challenges, losses, and the crisis they are now facing.  In fact, all of life is filled with challenges punctuated by celebrations.

I can give you two examples of how we look "over the fence", and assume they are happier or have the life we wish we had, and this, "ain't necessarily so".  Money and fame.

Money, more money, does not bring happiness; and people with more money are not happier, on a case by case basis; because happiness is an 'inside job'.  Contentment is the issue.  Saying, "If I had more money, I would be happy (or happier)", is a delusion, because of this simple principle: Wherever you go, there you are.

Fame or success does not bring happiness or anything close to peace, but mostly stress and trouble; for those who are not prepared for it.  Most of us are like dogs chasing cars.  If we catch up to and grab or hop into fame, we will not know how to handle it and crash it.

Preparation time and being equipped, in your personal, secret, intimate, behind the scenes life is key or unconditional to managing success when it comes your way.  Pride and arrogance, gluttony and avarice, meanness and sarcasm are all easy and found in the 'get rich (or famous) quick', style.  But humility, meekness, love, kindness and generosity are cultivated, over time.

The sustenance for any and every crisis, loss, failure or injustice is in him.  He will not tell you specifically why it happened, but he asks us to give up everything and trust him with our futures, and walk intimately with him.

He still says, "Follow me".  Obedience to his call leads to your destiny and after obedience comes all the answers you have been seeking.

The life is Christ is a life of unbridled joy and celebration.  But it is also a life of sobriety, in suffering and grieving in fellowship with Christ and often weeping with others who are going through pain.


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