Jesus himself suffered from the pain of rejection. He endured the pain of a broken heart and crushed emotions. Don’t forget the pain of the Cross. Paul tells us about the pain Jesus endured when he said, “He who did not spare His own Son but gave Him up for us all—how will He not also, along with Him give us all things.” (Romans 8:32)
I know that we would all prefer a pain-free, worry-less, world that is neatly ordered and less complicated. The truth is, LIFE IS NOT EASY.
Philip Yancey said, “Any discussion of how suffering and pain fit into God’s scheme ultimately leads back to the cross.”
The cross is God’s emblem of suffering and by its indelible mark upon our lives, we know that pain is real and that it is something we too must endure if we call ourselves followers of Jesus.
Notice the invitations Jesus offers. Thomas the twin said to the disciples, “Let us also go that we may die with Him.” (John 11:16)
Jesus said that no one could be His disciple if he was not willing to “…deny himself, pick up his cross and follow Him.” (Matthew 16:24)
Instead of a garland of roses, Jesus wrapped himself with a towel and washed the disciple’s feet saying, “…if I your Lord and master have washed your feet…you should do as I have done for you.” (John 13:14)
Following Jesus is not a pathway to comfort and pain-free living. It is a hard road that takes you to the foot of the cross where suffering is awarded to everyone who follows Jesus there.
The following responses are from people who visited the Bridgewater Wilderness area:
- Trails need to be wider so people can walk while holding hands.
- Please avoid building trails that go uphill.
- Too many bugs. Please spray the wilderness to get rid of so many pests.
- The coyotes made too much noise last night and kept me awake.
- Escalators would help on the steep slopes.
- Please put a MacDonald’s at the trailhead for the convenience of the hikers.
- Too many rocks in the mountain
Jesus did not call us to convenience. He did not make the pathway to Calvary pain-free or a down-hill slide. Following Jesus means that we will have pain and we will endure suffering. But listen to what He says, “…BE OF GOOD CHEER! I HAVE OVERCOME THE WORLD.” (John 16:33)