Suffering is misunderstood in our secular world. It is viewed as something to be avoided at all costs. In a world that focuses on doing what feels good, the idea of suffering is incomprehensible.
Christians, however, should know better. Sadly, many do not.
How do we know suffering is good? Simple. Christ’s example.
Growing up Christian, we can sometimes become numb to the true meaning of Christ on earth. We must remind ourselves that Jesus was God incarnate, God come down from heaven, humbling himself to enter humanity for our sake.
Understanding that, we must remind ourselves of the Passion of Christ and the rewards that his suffering created. Three days of horrendous pain and suffering is hard to comprehend. Yet, the reward? Eternal salvation for mankind.
Think about that.
Three days of extreme suffering created eternal salvation for mankind.
If that was possible by Christ’s suffering, and we are called to take up our cross, as he did, then how much good can come from our own suffering?
Certainly, our sacrifice will not be perfect, as his was. Yet, the saints are often called to unite their suffering with his. Why?
Because of the exponential good that comes from it.
The early martyrs understood this. They were not greater than their masters. If Jesus was willing to offer his life for us, then they could not conceive asking to be excluded from such a sacrifice when asked. And, like the exponential reward of his suffering to mankind, so was their suffering in growing the church.
We all suffer. It is a part of life. Don’t let it go to waste. Offer it up. Unite it to Christ’s. Let your temporary pain create exponential reward elsewhere.
Only God knows what happens as a result of our suffering. But, if it is anything close to offering eternal salvation, then how could we not ask God to take our worst moments and let him turn it into something glorious?