Monday, March 4, 2019

Learning to Suffer Well

As my turn rolls around again to post on the church blog, I again share some of the emotions and thoughts from my diagnosis of an eye disease. My hope is that this encourages anyone going through hardship or suffering. When we are struggling in this way, we tend to want things to be more “fair”.

Do I want life to be fair? This question can have a thread of legalism to it. Is it fair for a pastor to get a disease? Is it fair for a mass murderer to get a disease? We tend to think it’s more “fair” for a “good” person to be spared from hardship and the “bad” person allowed to suffer. This isn’t grace. This is legalism. The pastor and the mass murderer bring nothing to the table. All our good works are like “filthy rags” compared to the righteousness of Christ. We bring a smorgasbord of wrong motives into our good deeds. On top of this, all the believer does is to be done by the Spirit’s power and turned over to Him as a fruit of His work in us—not to get a pat on the back or earn points so the believer doesn't have to suffer. 

I’m glad life isn’t fair. Fairness means I should pay for my sin, but God…

Ephesians 2:4–5
[4] But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, [5] even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved (ESV) 

Learning to suffer well,
Pastor Ben

PS-I have gotten good news on my eyes. So far, the doctor thinks they will only get a little worse over my lifetime, so I get to keep driving, etc. possibly for the rest of my life! The worst part to my vision is trying to see in low contrast conditions, which thankfully isn't much of my day. 

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