Articles and thoughts by Steve Green.
For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 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 8:14-27
Dear Lord Jesus, I am deeply moved today as I ponder your compassionate heart for the broken and suffering. And I’m equally, a tad fearful and more than a bit humbled, by the call to be a co-sufferer with you in the pain and suffering of those around me.
Oh for sure, for gloriously sure… your sufferings as our sin-bearer are over, Lord Jesus. As the Lamb of God, you offered yourself once and for all upon the cross. No additional sacrifice for my sin remains to be offered… NONE. No fear of being judged by God for my sin remains. Your perfect love has driven away all fear, uncertainty, pride and anxiety about Judgment Day. I boast and rest in your sufferings for me, Lord Jesus… and I also shout a hearty, “Hallelujah!”
I also cry out, “Help me, Lord Jesus!”, help me go with you into the sufferings of friends, family… even further into the groans of my own heart. Like most, I have an aversion to pain and suffering. Like many, too many… I would love the Christian life to be a spiritualized antidote for all discomfort and distress. I would love to “confess and possess”… “name and claim”… “gab and grab” my way right out of any more pain and suffering of any kind.
And yet the very Spirit that is telling me I’m a beloved child of God is also convincing me that co-heirs of Christ’s glory are also co-sharers in his sufferings.
So, Lord Jesus, here’s my peace, my only peace. You’re not calling me to suffer for you, but to suffer with you, and that makes all the difference in the world. You’ll never lead me into hard places where you’re not present. You’ll never ask me to do anything for which you will not give me sufficient mercy and grace, and the Spirit’s power. You’ll never leave me or forsake me.
Indeed, I want to know you better and better, Lord Jesus, and more of the power of your resurrection and more of the sacred fellowship of sharing in your sufferings… so very Amen, I pray, in your kind and compassionate name.
9 Comments »