Friday, November 04, 2011

An Outlandish Idea?

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"
Is it an outlandish idea that the apostle Paul writes, that there is something "lacking in the afflictions of Christ" that God's people can "fill up" (Col 1:24)? Didn't Christ already suffer everything bad that we humans can suffer? Well, let's ask one question: did Christ suffer broken bones? The apostle John says of Him, "Not one of His bones shall be broken" (John 19:36), and he is quoting Exodus 12:46 and Psalm 34:20.

We can say indeed that Jesus suffered all the pain that we humans can suffer, for none of us has been literally crucified--a horrendous experience. But here indeed is something that those who suffer broken bones can consider: they are honored in some little way to "fill up in [their] flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ" (says Col. 1:24), permitted the high honor of being "partakers of Christ's sufferings" (1 Peter 4:13).

Those who endure suffering (whether from physical pain, or mental and emotional torture thrust upon them uninvited) are privileged to demonstrate to the world and to the universe what it means in one little way to "follow the Lamb wherever He goes" (Rev. 14:4, 5). They have experienced something special in common with Him. They have a point of contact with Him, an intimacy that they will recognize reflected in His eyes when at last they see Him face to face. When He takes them by the hand, He will squeeze their hand with a special touch of oneness with Him. No longer will they bemoan their "burden" and complain that "it's not fair!" They will recognize their position as princes and princesses in the great kingdom of God, entrusted with a special task to honor Christ.

There was once a great man who suffered agony uninvited. In so doing, he was highly honored. Job said, "Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him" (13:15). It's NOT that God wanted to "slay" him, but it seemed that way to Job (it was Satan doing it). And Job broke through the clouds and embraced a genuine faith--believing in the goodness of God in total darkness. So can you.

--Robert J. Wieland

From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: November 25, 2000.
Copyright © 2011 by "Dial Daily Bread."

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