The Response to Suffering

Michael Reeves writes:

The God who is love definitively displays that love to the world by sending us his eternally beloved Son to atone for our sin. And so, through the sending of the Son for our salvation we see more clearly than ever how generous and self-giving the love of the triune God is. Without the cross, we could never have imagined the depth and seriousness of what it means to say that God is love.

Michael Reeves, Delighting in the Trinity.

If there was ever anything we encouraged our Muslim friends to grasp, it was that love suffers. This first required several major shifts in thinking about the nature of God.

The view of God as Master and man as slave leaves no room for love or suffering. We can only understand his love for us when we know God as Father. When a father loves his child, he sacrifices on his behalf. A father works hard to provide for his family. A father drops everything to tend to the needs of a sick child. A father waits for the child, who has left home in pursuit of worldly pleasures.

Our loving, Father God, offered the ultimate sacrifice that we might share in fellowship with him for eternity and be changed to reflect his glory.

Paul knew that being in relationship with God through Christ meant we shared in his suffering as well.

Now if we are children, then we are heirs–heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

Romans 8:17 NIV

No other religion or philosophy offers this solution to the woes of sinful man. Our brokenness can only be fixed through faith in the body of Christ broken on our behalf. Only in Christianity, does the supreme being pay the price on behalf of mankind; all other religions require man to do the work without the assurance Christianity provides.

When a father suffers and sacrifices to get his child to the hospital, everyone rejoices when needs are met and healing occurs. The suffering was worth the price to see the son made whole.

How much more does God rejoice when a wayward child comes home through faith in Christ? Thank him today for his sacrifice on your behalf. Pray for those who have yet to accept the suffering love of God.

Grace and Peace

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