The life of the flesh is tragic by nature and by design. God allowed us intellect and free will but withheld the access to the tree of life, for having free will means there will be some who are disobedient. Therefore, the way of the body of flesh leads to sin and death. Ro. 8:5-8.

The person who looks to perfect himself, either his body or his mind, or by worldly success; or even by generosity and through charitable deeds is never going to succeed without help, He will be like Sisyphus perpetually toiling to no avail. And he will go the way of flesh for from the earth he was taken and to the earth he must return. Gen. 3:19.

But Christ voluntarily shared our suffering so that He could become a brother to us. This is explained in Hebrews chapter two, which begins with the obvious question, how is it possible – if we receive the just repayment for every sin and transgression, to escape judgment? And further, what is man that God should care (or be mindful of him)? Especially since man was originally put over all the world to subdue it and rule over it? Heb. 2:5-8

But Christ made Himself a little lower than the messengers (angels) so that He could become our brother. He perfected salvation through blood so that he and those sanctified could become one, permanently joined. Heb. 2:9; Ro. 8:38-39. He declares the name of YHWH to us, his brothers and sisters saying, “behold I and the children YHWH gave to me.” Heb. 2:12-13.

He became through suffering our kind and faithful Chief Priest, interceding all the time for us with our Father, for as we suffer He suffered, and as we are tempted, he was tempted. Heb. 2:14-17. (He did this because with our pride, i.e., sin, we could not be joined with him. Pride is overcome by suffering as we are crushed by God’s winepress like grapes. For no one may be boastful before God. See e.g., 1 Cor. 1: 29.) See generally, Ro. 5:3-5; and Ro. 8:18-25.

So comfort to suffering of every kind is this: it is in our state of abject suffering – pain, loss, grief, shame, and poverty of spirit that we are growing closer to Him. Our silver is refined by fire like gold and silver. See Rev. 3:18. As God is our Father and also His Father, therefore we who are in Him and clothed with Him are His brothers and sisters—and therefore we are also heirs with Him. See Ro. 8:15.

So, even though the body outwardly cries out in pain, and sheds tears in grief, inwardly a deeper joy grows in the knowledge that everything is being put right. Those who die are no longer suffering, but those who believed in the Son of God will be raised up, perfected. See John 6:40. More than this we know that in our suffering we are close to Him, who we love, for though our tears blur the world they clarify Him who we see in spirit.


richard bennett

Your essay reminds me of a string experience that I had following a surgery in my relative youth.

It was the day of surgery and I had suffered tremendously. I experienced what I am certain was an inadequate anesthesia during the procedure, and the experience of nothing but disembodied horrible pain and light had profoundly shaken me. I remember asking the nurse in the recovery room, “Is this reality.”

I was in a Catholic hospital. When I awoke in my room I found myself looking at a crucifix directly in front of me on the wall. That was very profound for me, and I felt that I understood why that is the symbol of christianity.

Suffering can tremendously overweigh pleasure and happiness in the human experience. It is too horrible a thing to not have meaning. And we all have our time to profoundly suffer.

Ann Toay

What else do you want me to say!

Ann Toay

What else do you want me to say!

Ann Toay

Very true..

Ann Toay

Very Awesome! Yes.

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