First, let me clarify that redemptive suffering exists as a genuine call from God. Yet what most of us experience is far from redemptive because our suffering is not in union with Christ’s. Redemptive suffering is not long-faced misery because it is life-giving and life-affirming as we live in, with and through Christ our Saviour. It might involve physical pain but it is lived in the Light, in peace and in joy. When we are no longer the centre of attention but Jesus is the centre; all heavy, psychological despair and mental anguish dissipates like insubstantial mist under the burning sunlight.
It takes humility to realize our miserable, self-inflicted suffering does not save anyone, least of all ourselves. Accepting Jesus as our Saviour really goes against our grain as human beings because we want to earn our salvation, purify ourselves by suffering out of a misplaced sense of guilt. Ironically it usually takes suffering to break down our ego and pride.
Once exhausted by trying to save ourselves, we often must hit bottom before we are desperate enough to change, to let go of our pride and control and surrender in humility to Christ our Saviour. Only the drowning man even realizes he needs saved, only a sick man grasps the truth that he needs to be healed.
Isaiah 53:5 But He was pierced through for our transgressions,
He was crushed for our iniquities;
The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him,
And by His scourging we are healed.
“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
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