Purpose in Suffering

During Lent we not only meditate on Jesus’ passion but also apply lessons from Jesus’ passion to our lives. One lesson from Jesus is about suffering.

American society values happiness and contentment. As such, our culture is averse to discomfort and suffering. It’s difficult to find examples in our society where suffering is considered beneficial or a blessing.

This is why it’s essential that we learn from Jesus. Everyone mentioned the beginning of John chapter 11 suffered. Lazarus suffered death. Mary and Marth suffered grief and loss. There is no questioning the pain that they all experienced. Yet their pain had purpose:

First, Lazarus’ death and resurrection foreshadowed Jesus’ death and resurrection.

Second, Jesus said that God the Father was going to be glorified through the suffering of Lazarus.

When we suffer, we do well to reflect on whether God is working through our suffering. Is the Lord maturing our faith? (James 1:2-4, Romans 5:3-5) Is God somehow being glorified?

I am not promoting suffering as a Christian discipline. Not am I suggesting that somehow suffering might make us “super” Christians. I am saying that God can work through our suffering or in response to our suffering. … More Purpose in Suffering

Good Works

Since the start of the Reformation some 500 years ago, critics have used Bible passages such as this against Lutheran Christians. They claim that we discount the Christian life while overemphasizing the justification by grace through faith in Jesus. Instead, Lutherans emphasize both being saved by God and serving in God’s name.  … More Good Works