Gleanings – Know Jesus, No Pain? Drivel. Bunk. Hooey.

2 Corinthians 4:1-12

“We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed but not driven to despair; persecuted but not forsaken; struck down but not destroyed.”

This passage has sustained me at some critical junctures in life. These were moments of great personal pain and uncertainty. They were moments to be endured, times unsolicited and undesired. And I heard in Paul a hope that does not disappoint. I heard that I as bore what seemed unbearable I would not be destroyed. And I was right to hear it.

What I often overlooked in earlier years was that being a follower of Jesus would put me routinely in place where I would need this hope that does not disappoint, this truth that I cannot be crushed or driven to despair. “So that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.” What Jesus endured his followers will endure. Troubles need not be sought out. They are a byproduct of being a follower. He suffered. We suffer.

This rocks our world as we live in a place (dare I say a country or culture) of comfort wherein pain is to be avoided at all cost. We have the victory. We are meant to live triumphantly! After all, “your best life now” is only seven steps away. Activate your faith and you can “become a better you.” Interestingly enough seven steps too. Drivel. Bunk. Hooey.

Let me say it again. Drivel. Bunk. Hooey.

We are not meant to experience pain and suffering to the exclusion of joy and even fun. Even Jesus loves a good wedding reception. But we cannot and should not attempt to eliminate from our lives the things that make us like or look like Jesus. When they are for the right they are not to be endured but embraced. Indeed we must contemplate the absence of pain. In my estimation it has its moment in denial or not following or some combination of the two.


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