Many of us, when confronted with suffering in our own lives or the lives of those close to us have struggled with the question of why? Why do we suffer? Why does God allow it? Now while this is a vital and very personal wrestle I want to suggest that it is not the most important suffering question we can ask. Because even if we can find an answer to why it won’t take the pain away… we are still going to suffer. So this morning Pastor Joe helps us by focusing not on why we suffer, but on how we should suffer… and how we can actually come to the point where we can embrace suffering with joy.
Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.