As a closing thought on Suffering it is imperative that we keep perspective to what suffering is and that we will surely get our fair share of it if we are followers of Jesus. My hope is to put away the idea of ‘always needing to suffer’ as if there won’t be plenty of suffering without going out of our way looking for it. There will be. If we think we need suffering we perhaps also need even greater instruction on living the victorious life as a believer. Part of that victory is celebration.
Dallas Willard (1937-2013) wrote:
The Discipline of Celebration
“Here is one of the most important disciplines of engagement, yet most overlooked and misunderstood. It is the completion of worship, for it dwells on the greatness of God as shown in his goodness to us. We engage in celebration when we enjoy ourselves, our life, our world, in conjunction with our faith and confidence in God’s greatness, beauty, and goodness. We concentrate on our life and world as God’s work and God’s gift to us.”
(From ‘The Spirit of the Disciplines’)
I find this as the right attitude to live in thankfulness and confidence even in the midst of trials and suffering.
It is rather like this: “A mob quickly formed against Paul and Silas, and the city officials ordered them stripped and beaten with wooden rods. They were severely beaten, and then they were thrown into prison. The jailer was ordered to make sure they didn’t escape. So the jailer put them into the inner dungeon and clamped their feet in the stocks.
Around midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening. Suddenly, there was a massive earthquake, and the prison was shaken to its foundations. All the doors immediately flew open, and the chains of every prisoner fell off!” (Acts 16:22-26) Suffering and Praying and Singing. Worship is the Cortisone for suffering.
“Follow me.” Jesus