In 2 Corinthians 1, Paul makes it very clear that as Christians, we will share in the sufferings of Christ. This is hard for some of us to grasp.
Indeed, the world would have us believe that when you become a Christian, all your worldly problems should just disappear. After all, if God is on your side, then nothing bad should happen to you. And if bad things do happen to you, then you say a prayer and God makes it all go away. You know….like a genie in a bottle.
We have all heard people who say that they used to believe in God, until something tragic took place in their life. And then they found themselves saying, “How can an all-loving God allow such terrible things to happen?” or “I refuse to believe in a God who would allow that kind of suffering…”
Do you remember reading back in the book of John, chapter 16, verse 33? Jesus told us, “I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. You will have suffering in this world. Be courageous! I have conquered the world.”
That inspires much more confidence in me than somebody preaching some health and wealth gospel. How about you?
Paul himself suffered so much that he “…despaired of life itself.” But through this suffering he learned to rely not on himself, but God.
We are admonished to do the same, to share in the suffering of Christ so that we can share in the comfort of Christ.
Care to share? I’ll look for your story in the comments below.