The Perspective Of Suffering

Both He who sanctifies and those who are sanctified are all from one Father; for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying, “I will proclaim Your name to My brethren, in the midst of the congregation I will sing Your praise.” And again, “I will put My trust in Him.” And again, “Behold, I and the children whom God has given Me.”
–Hebrews 2:11-13

The writer of Hebrews gave us a perspective of suffering in 2:11-13. Let’s look at this passage: “For both He who sanctifies [Jesus] and those who are sanctified [you and me] are all from one Father; for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying, ‘I will proclaim Your name to My brethren, in the midst of the congregation I will sing Your praise.’ And again, ‘I will put My trust in Him.’ And again, ‘Behold, I and the children whom God has given Me.’” What in the world are those verses talking about? The suffering you experience right now is real, it is painful, but it is also temporary. It will not last forever.

That word “sanctified” means “set apart for a special purpose.” Jesus has set you aside for a special purpose. And just as Jesus was set apart by God for a special purpose, He has set apart you and me for a special purpose. Jesus and you and I are linked together; we are all from the same Father.

If you want to know what God’s plan for you is, then just look at what He did for His Son, Jesus Christ. He allowed Jesus to suffer. Whenever you are tempted to say, “God, if You love me, why would You allow me to go through this?” just look at what God did to His own Son. Suffering was part of His plan for Jesus. Why should we be surprised when it is His plan for us?

Then the writer of Hebrews quoted Psalm 22:12. This psalm, written 900 years before Christ was born, says, “My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?” (22:1). Those were the words Jesus uttered on the cross (Matthew 27:46). But interestingly, that is not the part of Psalm 22 the writer of Hebrews quoted. Instead of talking about the suffering of Messiah, the writer quoted from the second part of the psalm, saying, “I will proclaim Your name to My brethren, in the midst of the congregation I will sing Your praise” (Hebrews 2:12). When did Jesus do that? It wasn’t when He was hanging on the cross wondering why God had forsaken Him; it was after His resurrection that He praised the name of God, who delivered Him.

The writer of Hebrews was saying to you, “When you are going through that tunnel of suffering, it is hard to praise God because you cannot see the other side. But no matter how intense your suffering is right now, there will come a day when you see the other side and you can look back and say, ‘Praise God, who delivered me once and for all.’” That is the perspective God wants you to have of suffering. Suffering is real, it is painful, but it will not last forever.

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Today’s devotion is excerpted from “For Those Who Hurt” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2018.

Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

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