Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Bethany Bullet - July 15, 2014

“I’m suffering…from a hangover”…so said Morgan Earp to the Tombstone town mayor after he and his brothers rejected the mayor’s plea to serve as sheriff because, “a lot of people were suffering.”  To that Morgan responds, “I’m suffering…from a hangover.”  To make light of the suffering of others makes one insufferable; and it is probably equally true that to make too much of one’s own suffering makes one insufferable as well.  Yet for right now, let’s just agree that to make light of the sufferings of others makes one insufferable(That means unbearable or intolerable)  No one in the midst of Lamentation wants to hear, “You think that’s tough…I’m suffering from a hang-up, hangnail, hangover…”

Now when a character in a historical fiction film does so it is one thing, when an apostle in an Epistle does so that is something else entirely!   Romans 8:17-18 “I consider that our present sufferings are INSIGNIFICANT.” So says St. Paul.  Can you imagine the nerve?  Is the apostle insufferable?  To say that our present sufferings are insignificant might make some say, “Hang-on there fella.”  Tell that to those living on the Southside of Chicago or in Northern Nigeria; say that in the West Bank or in what used to be called the Eastern Block. 

Of course, the apostle doesn’t actually say that!  The apostle actually declares, “I consider our present sufferings are insignificant WHEN COMPARED to the glory that awaits us.”  The apostle, and the One who sent him (Jesus Christ), and the One who sent Him (God the Father) consider our sufferings significant; not only to us but to them as well. 
V  They know the significance of suffering with: cancer cells are too numerous, or the fears that sleeper cells are too. 
V  They know it is significant when a loved one is on hospice care or our love life is on life support. 
V  They know the significance of grieving the burial of a spouse, a parent, a marriage or a career.  
V  Of seeing your savings disappear or your bills pill up. 
V  Of having the company or family relocate when you’d prefer to stay.  
V  Of watching your kids or grandkids move away or helping them move back in.
Your suffering is significant to the Lord, yet because of Him they, though supremely significant to us are at the very say time “insignificant when compared to the glory that awaits us.”  For your God has come to suffer with you.  Jesus knew what it was to suffer.  He knew disgrace, rejection, poverty, and loneliness.  He knew what it was to be lied to and denied, to be mocked and ridiculed, He knew what it was to be falsely accused and unjustly condemned.  Yet the greatest suffering He knew was the forsaking of heaven and the abandonment of the Father on the cross for in Christ, God came not only to suffer with us but to suffer for us! 

That we might become the heirs of God, co-heirs of Christ who know the significance of the insignificant and the insignificance of the significant as we cling to and confess that “our present suffering, as significant as they are, are insignificant WHEN compared to the Glory that will be revealed in us.”

-Pastor Kevin Kritzer


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