I was talking to a friend who is studying Buddhism to better understand other world religions and he offered up the point that the Four Noble Truths of Buddhism all deal with suffering.  Our discussion turned to the idea that our churches have done little to help us understand suffering and the fact that it is a fact of life.  WE WILL SUFFER.  The world is a rough place and it is ruled by a force that wants to destroy us.  Maybe Christianity would do well to spend more time discussing suffering, it’s implications and how God plans to help us overcome suffering. 

Let’s talk about grace and mercy and Heaven.  They are great topics but I’m one of those folks that runs into a lot of suffering on a daily basis.  I’ve faced my own and have good friends who are and have suffered in ways I do not want to experience and in those times, I find it is when good Christians most question God and His ways.  I can’t help but wonder if we wouldn’t question less or be better prepared if we began treating suffering as one of the basic tenets of following Christ.

Let’s admit it.  Adam and Eve suffered, Cain and Abel suffered, God’s chosen people suffered, Abraham, Moses, Jonah, Daniel…should I go on?  The Bible is full of suffering.  Have you heard of a guy named Job?  God allowed Satan to make Job suffer.  Allowed it! 

The beauty is in the fact that there is a line God will not let Satan cross.  WE WILL SUFFER but, if we trust in the Lord and persevere there is a line, drawn at the foot of the cross, that crosses over to a life of perfect peace free of suffering.  Oh, I won’t see it in this life but God has something planned for me that is immensely greater than what I know now. 

Plan to suffer but know in that suffering that God has something great in store for you, something not only without suffering but with joy and peace that I cannot adequately put in words.  There is something much greater waiting for us if we will hold God’s hand as we walk through this present suffering.

Grace and peace to you.
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