Patience in suffering…many of us, even as Christians, go through situations in our lives where we feel as though we are suffering. What we must remember is that our suffering is only temporary and the reward for being steadfast in our faith is an eternal home of glory with our Lord Jesus Christ. James 5:7-8, NKJV Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.
I am on a journey. I want to encourage you to take the same journey. I have read in the Bible and I have been told about the love that Jesus has for me. It seems to me that it is so easy to read about it and be told about it, but not live the “passionate” “on fire” life style for Jesus. Is it because we didn’t see it with our own eyes? Is it because we live in a nation of luxury and convenience and so we don’t think we NEED Jesus love and sacrifice? I honestly don’t understand this, and I honestly don’t want to be one of those millions of people who acknowledges the love and sacrifice of Jesus, but doesn’t live it out for others to see and to desire. I want to live in such a way that when I speak, you hear the passion and love in my voice. I want to live in such a way that my actions reflect the love that Jesus had/has for me. I want people to desire that love, to desire Jesus…to know Him and to love Him and to serve Him.
Why do I mention a deep understanding of Jesus’ love for us when I am speaking of suffering? I personally feel that if we truly have somewhat of an understanding, although I don’t think we will ever fully understand the depths of His love, but if we could have a deeper understanding that goes beyond the surface, we would be able to be more patient in our sufferings.
When Christ came to this earth, He came to seek and save those of us who are/were lost. He left heaven’s best, and came to earth where there is sickness, death, sorrow, shame, and the list goes on. He sacrificed His life for us, so that we could be saved.
Close your eyes and picture this…truly, close your eyes and picture this…
Imagine you are condemned for a crime in which the punishment is death. You are taken to a place where the tools they have for inflicting punishment and pain are severe. Imagine you knelt down on the ground and an individual takes a rod or whip and multiple times make a blow to your back. The pain rushes through your entire body. It isn’t something that is instantly over…39 times this sensation rushes through your body. Your punishment isn’t over yet. Next comes the scourging. Tools such as a Roman flagrum, which was created in such a way to take the skin off, is used against you. Sometimes this tool would include hooks that would inflict a deeper wound, also removing flesh from the body. There is so much hatred built up against you, that they don’t stop until you are unrecognizable. Then, you are made to pick up a cross that rough estimates are said to be anywhere from 165 pounds to 300 pounds. After a flogging/scourging so bad, could you imagine carrying a cross to a hill? Yet you have no choice. You’re forced to carry it…then as was the custom for Roman crucifixion, there is a nail placed in each wrist and through the ankles. The death is not instant. You are left there to suffocate in your own blood until there is no life left in you.
Did you close your eyes and picture yourself doing this? If you haven’t done so, please do this. After closing your eyes and watching this play out before you, imagine then that it isn’t you, but Jesus who is knelt down on the ground taking the flogging, then the scourging. It’s Jesus who carries the cross to a hill in Calvary, where he will be hung and die.
Here is the miracle. If it were ourselves on that cross, it would end at death. Jesus, who did suffer all that pain and went to the cross and sacrificed His life. He was raised up three days later and raised to the right hand of God our Father. Jesus conquered death, hell, and the grave and made a way for us to have salvation and forgiveness of sins and to experience a love like no other.
Now, I want us to think about the things that we face while we are here for a short time on this earth…Jesus sacrificial love is our source of strength, hope, healing, salvation, forgiveness, freedom and the list goes on. My prayer is that through this visual, we have a more than surface layer understanding of Jesus love for us, and that with His love, we overcome. Romans 8:37-38, NKJV Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Chris Jesus our Lord.
© 2022 Leslie Wittenmyer—All rights reserved