The Offerings of Sufferings
by Randy Chambers, 2014-12-10
Hebrews 5:7-9, NASB: "In the days of His flesh, He [Jesus] offered up both prayers and supplications with loud crying and tears to the One able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His piety. Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered. And having been made perfect, He became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation."
We often remember that Christ Jesus suffered the cross for us (Heb. 2:9; 12:2; 13:12); sometimes we recall that He “himself suffered when he was tempted…yet was without sin” (Heb. 2:18; 4:15); but how often do we consider that Jesus suffered to learn obedience? As His followers, will we not also suffer? We do suffer many things in this life and we often wonder why. We may think that Christians who suffer do so as punishment for sin or perhaps they lack faith. Yet Jesus suffered and did not sin or lack faith. It could be that the suffering we endure is at times simply what God allows in order that we might learn obedience. God is always at work in our lives in various ways (Phil. 1:6). Suffering is not pleasant (Heb. 12:11), but when used as an instrument of our Father it is always purposeful. As we learn to trust God completely we must humble ourselves, place ourselves beneath His hand, and offer ourselves up before Him to suffer whatever He deems necessary to shape us after the likeness of Jesus. It’s as though Christ, being the great Physician, looks into our eyes with parental love and providential care, and says, "My child, this is going to hurt a bit…" Our job is to be still and trust. It’s not easy, but it is necessary.