Sovereignty in Suffering
We experience all kinds of suffering in this present age, whether health, finance, family or friends. Sometimes we find the sovereignty of the Father difficult in these times as we wonder why He would allow such suffering if He wants to abolish all injustice and suffering.
Praise God that the Scriptures are so real and down to earth. The Bible is full of people going through the very same sufferings that we experience and we are given so many examples of how to keep our eyes on Christ through all these times.
The Scriptures equip our minds and hearts to be “Cross-shaped” – that is, to have the wisdom and power of the Cross of Jesus through all our thinking and feeling. From a human perspective all the suffering seems pointless and empty. Sinful ‘wisdom’ whispers in our ear that all these seeds of suffering are sown into an empty ground, disappearing into a bottomless abyss. However, the wisdom of the Cross knows a sovereign Father who brought an infinite harvest from the suffering of Jesus. In our sufferings we can be nearer to Jesus than at any other time, as we share fellowship in His sufferings. The power of His resurrection is known only in the shadow of the Cross.
It is through the shadow of injustice and suffering that the sovereign power of the Father shines so brightly. In my own experience, I spent two months going through a time when I often wondered how I could get through another hour. Yet, the Scriptures pointed me to the sufferings of Jesus. I found that there was even joy in the terrible darkness as I shared in the Way that Jesus walked. As I focussed on Him and tried to follow His example, so I found that He became more real to me than ever before. I understood so much more of His teaching and the teaching of His prophets and apostles. Looking back, I find the strange truth that it was one of the hardest of times… yet also one of the most fruitful times.
Knowing that the endless treasures of Jesus were unlocked by His Cross tells us that no matter what suffering we pass though, He has sanctified the path of suffering and transformed it into the holy way of resurrection and glory. When we see the sovereign power of the Father from the Tree, then we can, with suitable joyful fear and trembling, step forward into whatever today has for us.