Love is suffering.
At least in the case of Jesus Christ it is. If you don’t know Him yet, I’m so excited to introduce you to the greatest friend I have ever known. One who’s Word is the best love story ever written. My savior who weeps out of compassion while I hurt. A God so gracious, He carries me through times of trials instead of only walking by my side. His timing so intentional, I’m often unable to fathom it. A love so wide and long and high and deep that He suffered on the cross for me long before I ever knew what suffering was.
When you spend time reading His story, you will learn of the hurt He endured for you. You will read about the betrayal He experienced and the ridicule He faced. Suffering so heartbreaking it’s difficult to comprehend entirely. You will learn about how He loves you so much, that He overcame this all to save you. And you will understand the incredible inheritance that we now share because of Jesus Christ.
Sometimes Christ will show His goodness to you through growing friendships, sunny skies, and all that’s beautiful in the world.
And sometimes He will show His goodness to you through the pain of unbearable loss and heartbreak. Through misery and agony and rainy days. Through the sorrow that fills our hearts from this temporary world. This goodness is a little harder to understand.
Christ’s disciple James encourages us to “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (1:2-4)
The suffering we experience is intentional. He may not send these heartaches directly, but he graciously allows them in order to develop us. And I hope you find comfort in knowing that our trials are a part of His greater plan to better us entirely. This is His love, my friends. By testing our faith, He encourages us to lean on Him. He welcomes our tears and our brokenness, and hopes we look to Him in the darkness. By doing so we will be given the light and the endurance to keep going. In His name.
We face these trials so we can learn to carry on. Through Christ who strengthens us.
So look to Him, because Jesus is the perfect sympathizer. The shortest verse in the entire Bible:
“JESUS WEPT.” (JOHN 11:35)
Tears of love and sympathy flowed from His eyes at Lazarus’s tomb. He felt compassion for the sisters of this deceased man, and He wept for them.
He knows our hearts, and He knows our sorrow. And He loves us so much that he died for us, but not only so, now He weeps for us in the midst of our sufferings. Christ’s love is a beautiful thing my friends.
I leave you with my favorite poem about His faithfulness through our trials. If you’ve read it before, I encourage you to read it again. If you are unfamiliar with it, take the time to read it. And then read it again.
“One night I dreamed a dream.
As I was walking along the beach with my Lord.
Across the dark sky flashed scenes from my life.
For each scene, I noticed two sets of footprints in the sand,
One belonging to me and one to my Lord.
After the last scene of my life flashed before me,
I looked back at the footprints in the sand.
I noticed that at many times along the path of my life,
especially at the very lowest and saddest times,
there was onl
y one set of footprints.
This really troubled me, so I asked the Lord about it.
“Lord, you said once I decided to follow you,
You’d walk with me all the way.
But I noticed that during the saddest and most troublesome times of my life,
there was only one set of footprints.
I don’t understand why, when I needed You the most, You would leave me.”
He whispered, “My precious child, I love you and will never leave you
Never, ever, during your trials and testings.
When you saw only one set of footprints,
It was then that I carried you.”
This is my friend Christ, and He loves you so much.