For all of us who have attended Good Friday services, this passage creates a seeming contradiction. Let’s resolve it. … More Sent

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