Wednesday, April 13, 2011
The God Who Suffers
He is despised and rejected by men, a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief . . . Surely He has borne our grief and carried our sorrows.—Isaiah 53:3-4
When we think of God, we usually consider that fact that He is righteous, holy, loving, and good. But here is something else to consider about God: He is the God who has suffered. We don’t tend to think that a perfect Creator would experience such a human trait as human pain and suffering. After all, why would you suffer if you did not have to?
But God has suffered, and more deeply than any of us could ever imagine. In his book The Cross of Christ, John Stott said, “Our God is a suffering God.” And I think he is right.
Listen to Isaiah’s description of what Jesus (who was God) went through at Calvary:
“He is despised and rejected by men, a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief . . . Surely He has borne our grief and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:3-5)
“A man of suffering.” That was Jesus. But why did God suffer? Because He loved and loves. That means He also enters into our suffering as well.
Hebrews 2:17-18 tells us:
“Therefore, it was necessary for him to be made in every respect like us, his brothers and sisters, so that he could be our merciful and faithful High Priest before God. Then he could offer a sacrifice that would take away the sins of the people. Since he himself has gone through suffering and temptation, he is able to help us when we are being tempted” (nlt).
You are not alone in your suffering today. Jesus has been there and walked in your shoes and He is here for you right now. Call out to Him.
Copyright © 2011 by Harvest Ministries. All rights reserved.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New King James Version, copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000.
· Listen to the audio message “Jesus on the Cross” by Pastor Greg Laurie. You can access this message at risen.harvest.org.
· Think of someone in your life who is suffering. Send today’s devotion to them by e-mail. Then pray that they would find encouragement in its words.
Watch Greg Laurie's weekly television broadcast on LightSource.com.
Join Pastor Greg on the Road to the Resurrection!
Two thousand years ago Jesus said to a man named Matthew, “Follow Me.” The phrase that He used means, “follow with Me.” In other words, walk with Me. We are to be walking with Jesus.
Road to the Resurrection is a resource that will help you walk with Him through the events leading up to His death and resurrection. It is available not only in book form, in appreciation for your gift this month, but it will also be available to read in electronic format.
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