Jesus in the Midst of Suffering

“See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ. For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and you have been given fulness in Christ..” Colossians 2:8-10

All the fulness of God is in Christ. That means that everything, the world, the cosmos, angels, heaven, and you and me are in Christ.

During the hard times in our walk with God — when we are facing things that we can barely stand, things that seem to test our very belief in the Divine — it is so easy to get caught up in, and put our trust in, human philosophy and tradition. Human philosophy would say that we are supposed to be happy, no matter what the cost. That we have a right to do and say certain things as long as it will make us feel better.

But we have been given fulness in Christ. That means, because all the fulness of God lives in Jesus, and Jesus lives in us, that we too have been given fulness in Christ –even when we can’t see it.

There are unlimited aspects and characteristics of Christ. He is peace, He is justice, He is joy, He is life, He is comfort. But the one aspect that we tend to miss, or forget, is that He is also suffering. That’s right, Jesus Christ is suffering. He suffered on the cross, He suffers for us still today. Another facet of Jesus Christ is suffering.

What I mean to say is, that when we are going through the wringer in life and it seems that no matter which way we turn, there seems to be a road block; we hurt, we don’t feel right, we don’t sense His presence any longer; Times like these there seems to be a trial waiting around every corner; Ever morning we wake up once again to face something we thought we could no longer face another day; we are experiencing Christ in a very real way. We all have times like these. Sometimes we go through them alone like we’re the only one in the world that is facing this. Other times we face things corporatly, like the whole church and everyone we know is facing it or something similar.

But during these times we must remember (especially me), that this is just another aspect of Christ. Just another stone along the road that leads to Him, is Him, and is by Him. The fulness of God isn’t just happiness and joy and peaceful days. Remember, that Jesus wept, Jesus suffered, Jesus had some hard days while on earth, and when we are going through tough times, that He is too, because He lives inside of us and feels everything that we feel. So when we weep, when we suffer, when we have hard days, weeks, months, or even years, that we are getting to experience Jesus Christ in probably one of the purest ways possible.

All things in Christ, now and forever more — especially in the midst of suffering. Amen.

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17 thoughts on “Jesus in the Midst of Suffering

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  1. This makes a lot of sense, great post. I think one of the hardest things to do sometimes is to just accept what the Bible says about our relationship to Christ, and how God sees us in him. I’m not sure why we tend to think about “Oh this is true if I’m a good boy/girl and work hard at it.”, No, it’s true now because Jesus paid the price already.

    Blessings.

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    1. So true. Especially if/when we’re going through something hard, I tend to think I did something wrong to deserve “punishment”. But that’s not true. (Not to disregard His discipline, of course).

      Thanks for commenting!

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  2. Great post brother. This is a great reminder for me that absolutely nothing of ‘me’ is separate from Him, including my suffering. ‘My’ suffering is His suffering. Thx for sharing!

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  3.  Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
    I will fear no evil,
    for you are with me;
    your rod and your staff,
    they comfort me.
    (Psalm 23:4 ESV)

    I love the phrase “for you are with me”. Christ is truly with us at all times, no matter how we feel, how we perceive things, or what we are going through. Thanks for the post!

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  4. Thanks for this post–so needed. You don’t hear this message much since teachers are catering to “itching ears.” “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death.” Php. 3:10 Unfortunately, the message of suffering doesn’t fill the offering plates, so happy little messages about success are preached–leaving believers weak, shallow and disobedient. Jesus leads the way: “Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered.” Heb. 5:8

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  5. Michael,

    I love your comforting main point of how integrated we are with Christ & how truly He is with us, I just worry suffering could be taken too far. It brings up memories of a Catholic upbringing where they often tried to raise “suffering with Christ” to an art form as almost the highest form of fellowship we could ever reach. That always confused me.

    Certainly Jesus did embrace adversity, but not usually without understanding. I’m not sure He ever had suffering foisted upon Him against His will. He chose it seeing what Papa was doing in the situation. I see Him embracing it mostly in the Gospels when it is for the higher purpose of being our substitute.

    He didn’t usually suffer lack because He knew Papa wanted to multiply what he had & supply all His needs, even if miraculously if need be. He didn’t even feel the need to suffer through storms on the sea of Galilee, for instance and controlled the weather. Neither did He counsel any sick who came to Him in faith to just suffer through their sicknesses.

    I believe incredible joy was his normal state, and although he cried in compassion over the lost a good part of His mission was in demonstrating the destruction of the works of the devil who was hellbent on stealing, killing & destroying mankind. So we need to be knowing when Papa wants us to be resisting the devil’s harassment, and when we need to be suffering through something in the Spirit.

    Unfortunately some of the suffering we allow is from the enemy, and it’s our unbelief or overconfidence in our faith instead of His that keeps us from overcoming these things. Jesus is still with us going through those things, but sometimes the lesson is we need to be using His faith resident in us to overcome, not suffer.

    The main suffering I see Jesus routinely faced was at the hands of legalistic & religious people in the form of persecution. Most of Paul’s tribulations too came from those for whom the Gospel was too good to be true. And Christ promised we would attract the same if we believed & proclaimed the Gospel of the Cross. I believe that suffering is unavoidable, but then agian it’s then I’m most glad He is always in me.

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    1. Yes, I’m sure there are some of those who make the suffering for Christ the main goal…like that is the main point of our walk with God. However, it is only one aspect of an infinite amount of treasures that are in Christ.

      The main point of the post was to comfort those who may be suffering right now. I know that many (including myself) can take suffering as though I’m being punished or “God has left me”. But it’s not like that, usually (there is discipline that comes from His hand, but not like we think it is). Instead it is another one of the vast riches that are in Him, so suffering is experiencing Him

      Thanks a lot for the insightful comment! It could be a post in-and-of-itself.

      P.S. don’t you live in gville? We should meet sometime. 🙂

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  6. Great post, brother. This is how we experience Christ as our wine. We enter the winepress with Christ and in time He provides us with fresh wine to enjoy Him.

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  7. i have to disagree with the all-too-typical ‘christianese’ remarks about philosophy. philosophy, taken as a whole, say no more about happiness than the bible does (in fact, quite the contrary) and a true understanding of what philosophy is would be remarkably beneficial to most thinking christians, if they would bother to do the work to learn it.

    otherwise, while this is well written, it doesn’t say anything new or particularly enlightened. if anything, it leans too heavily upon perceptions of realities which have only been present for a couple hundred years and do not reflect the typical lives of those who live during the millennia before or after jesus. daily suffering was routine for greater than 96% of the world’s population. while there certainly are those who suffer in the post-modern period, their numbers are drastically reduced from those earlier years.

    moreover, the position taken reflects a rather aristocratic or privileged mindset which assumes that ‘suffering’ is a matter of personal interpretation and inconvenience rather than circumstances into which one is born and from which one cannot escape save through death. this is a somewhat sanitized understanding of suffering which perhaps arises from a lack of experience with the real thing.

    this is not to take away from what jesus did; it is, however, a critical reminder that most of us have not, in fact, suffered at all — or if we have, it has been the result of our own failures, not as something from which there was no earthly escape.

    fwiw; ymmv.

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