“Most of the grand truths of God have to be learned by trouble; they must be burned into us with the hot iron of affliction, otherwise we shall not truly receive them.” [2] – Charles Spurgeon

Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered. [1]

I cannot even begin to try and count the times that I have learned how to be obedient during suffering. Many times, my response was not one of joy or excitement that I would get the opportunity to grow in obedience. Instead, the main response I typically go with is frustration and those teeth gritting prayers. Even amid trying to get this blog written out, there were a handful of things that were going wrong that prevented me from even starting.

Although that suffering is minimal compared to real suffering that many people are facing each and everyday, it is still an opportunity to respond in obedience. The reason why I bring this up is because many of us turn to things to relieve stress during suffering. Whether it be a boss, technology, children, a spouse, financial issues, etc… all these moments of suffering will ultimately cause us to respond in a specific way. Before I knew the Lord, I would turn to a handful of addictions that would temporarily buffer the feeling of suffering but would only be temporary.

As believers, the suffering has a much different purpose and our response should line up with what we see throughout the Bible. Jesus Himself learned obedience through what He suffered while He was on earth. Given Jesus’ Lordship, this makes for a very beautiful picture of God himself learning something amid suffering. Jesus learned a deeper understanding of the human condition through His something and it brought more empathy than it did intelligence.

Jesus freely chose to live on earth with His own humanity.[3] This choice to live with humanity is the same choice that He made when He chose to be obedient. Jesus still had to choose to follow the will of God. Jesus chose to be obedient to His Father’s will even when it meant incredible suffering that ended up leading to death. Jesus knows exactly what it feels like to go through suffering and having to remain obedient even amid the suffering.

You see, Jesus was not flawed and disobedient, but instead He was arriving at a new level of experience. It was because of Him having to learn obedience through the suffering and Him having to face trials and temptations that make Him so uniquely perfect for us all. For us, it is reassurance that our loving and loyal Savior knows what it feels like to suffer. For us, it means knowing that we will have to suffer and must choose obedience or disobedience. There is no middle ground when it comes to following Jesus. Even we choose to be obedient, or choose to be disobedient…

[1] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Heb 5:8). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

[2] Ritzema, E. (Ed.). (2012). 300 Quotations for Preachers. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

[3] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Jn. 10:17-18). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

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