And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance.
Paul writes that we should boast in our suffering. Some people really take that to heart, although not exactly in the way Paul intended. We are not to wallow in suffering or compare our suffering, but to know God is with us through it all, continuing to mold and shape us in everything we experience.
We know that Jesus suffered with us and for us. I’m sure it frustrated Him every time the disciples didn’t get the lesson, and broke His heart when we rejected Him. He prayed to be spared the suffering He would experience on the cross: “Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”” (Matthew 26:39). Jesus knew human suffering, that is the very reason He understands everything we go through.
Jesus was willing to suffer on our behalf, willing to endure humiliation and pain for our sins. What are we willing to go through for His sake? God never sends suffering but in our fallen world it is a constant. Jesus doesn’t say we should seek suffering, but when we are faced with difficulties we must trust in God to bring us through, stronger and wiser than we were before.
Loving Lord, we are frail, weak, and prone to failure, and because of this we suffer here on earth. Help us to see beyond our temporary pain to our eternal home with You. Amen.