Love and Suffering – go hand in hand

2 Corinthians 2:4
“For out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote to you with many tears; not so that you would be made sorrowful, but that you might know the love which I have for you.”

Oh what depth of love we might have within ourselves as we conform more and more into the likeness of our Savior – To love as powerful as Christ on the cross. He is bleeding, and yet He is giving life. He is in much anguish and suffering and yet He is experiencing victory for so many souls. He is dying – being poured out, and yet He is vastly in love with those for whom his blood is being spilt. This is love, though it be a strange thing to take in, to grasp. A love that is willing to go through trial and much anguish so that others may experience true joy and everlasting peace.

I wonder how many Christians are missing out on the fullness of knowing their Savior because they are too safe. Too scared to step out in faith or too scared to suffer for the well being of others. I’m not talking about being tortured or spread over a splintery cross. But to be spent: emotionally, physically and spiritually stretched beyond your personal bounds for the sake of others. True men and women of God who change lives and effect eternity for the sake of the gospel suffer in this life while others benefit, and yet because of this suffering, they enjoy pure, perfect joy now and in heaven. No wonder scripture says to us about our Savior: “that for the joy set before Him, He endured the cross…” There is great joy in tears and trial and in sufferings when they are for the purpose of the gospel, the joy of others, and to the glory of God!  You must experience this sort of love in order to scarcely understand it.

“O, Lord, that we might experience you more fully in the fellowship of your sufferings.” Amen

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