He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not (Isa. 53:3).
When we face the pressures of finances, when illnesses ravage our families, when trusted friends and colleagues become our sharpest critics, when governments act unfairly, and when those we count on turn their faces away, there is still cause for joy.
Whether we suffer under the weight of circumstances or because of the wrong of others, our suffering teaches us more of what Christ endured for us. Through our suffering, which cannot match our Savior’s pain, we come to know a measure of his care at a depth mere contemplation could never achieve.
The Bible says Jesus became like us to sympathize with our condition, but the reverse is true as well. When we become like him in our suffering, we understand his heart better.
His suffering included poverty, humiliation, betrayal, pain, and death – all of which show us how tender and tenacious is God’s grace for us. We don’t fully understand such grace until we have experienced some measure of the suffering that it cost.
By our pain we gain understanding of the dimensions of Christ’s grace that is needed to outweigh our suffering.
Jesus, thank you for suffering for me. May I grasp more fully the depth and breadth of your grace by earthly afflictions that I realize are spare measure of its cost!