Next Sunday we are hosting a lunch discussion on various kinds of suffering people face (register here). Why devote a special time to focus on such a depressing topic? Here are a few reasons:
- We all experience suffering. Albeit in different ways, we all encounter pain and loss at some point in our lives. Talking about it helps us learn how to live through it, and it can give encouragement and insight to others who have yet to face similar trails.
- Jesus experienced suffering. Though he lived a perfect life, Jesus was “a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief” (Is. 53). Reflecting on this aspect of his life— his passion— is one of the ways we come to better understand and worship Him.
- In light of #1 and #2 above, suffering is one of the primary ways Jesus draws us more deeply into new life. Because of the pain our Savior endured for our sake, our own experiences of suffering need not end as a “depressing topic.” but can actually become the very means through which our redemption is accomplished. In other words, one of the great blessings of the Christian life is that our pain, in the hand of God, can become a conduit of blessing: the blessing of a greater union with Christ in his death and resurrection, and the blessing of the world as the light of God shines through us in every circumstance.
If you have experienced suffering— or want to learn from others’ experience—please join us Sun, Nov 12 at 1:00 pm in Common Grounds.