24th April 2017

Suffering Patiently

“For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake…”
2 Corinthians 4:11 (NIV)

I’ve often wondered why God allows church members to reach the point they can no longer attend church, when attending church is the regular heartbeat of a Christian’s life. It must be terribly frustrating too, being unable to do much of anything because of pain and disability.

But Paul described his life in the verse above as “always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may be revealed in our body.” It’s one of those mysteries, that God makes suffering the means of revealing Jesus.

But how can suffering in isolation and being miserable company while in pain reveal Jesus? The obvious answer is because Jesus suffered too, but it goes deeper than that. Jesus’ suffering was also the means by which God launched the Kingdom. That’s how this whole thing got started, and why we even have churches at all. It’s because Jesus suffered.

In this era of God’s plan it is by suffering that his Kingdom grows, first revealed by Jesus in his own suffering, but now, remarkably, by our suffering too. Suffering by a Christian reveals a vital secret, that what Jesus began by his suffering now continues to grow in ours. Being stuck in pain and isolation, therefore, is actually growing the Kingdom, thanks to Jesus who got it started by his own pain and isolation, and set the example.

Prayer
Father, you don’t stop us getting sick and old and being in pain. But what a witness our suffering patiently is to Jesus, who through his own patient suffering began the restoration of all things, including the day when there’ll be no suffering anymore for anyone.
Amen

Study by Jonathan Buck

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About the Author:
Jonathan Buck is an Elder and pastors two Grace Communion International congregations in Canada. He and his wife, Berry, pastored in the UK before moving to Canada a number of years ago. When they are visiting family in England they attend Grace Communion in Lewes.

Local Congregation:
Grace Communion – Lewes
The Priory School
Mountfield Road
LEWES BN7 2XN

Meeting Time:
Saturday 11:00am

Local Congregational Contact:
Hilary Buck
Email: hilaryjbuck@gmail.com

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