How Suffering Produces Humility
8Now in putting everything in subjection to him, he left nothing outside his control. At present, we do not yet see everything in subjection to him. 9But we see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone. 10For it was fitting that he, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the founder of their salvation perfect through suffering. —Hebrews 2:8-10
Humility follows suffering. Humility flows from suffering. Suffering is God’s chosen instrument in life to bring to His children humility. To each person is appointed various seasons of suffering. Jesus, who didn’t need it, wasn’t spared suffering. We’re not exempt either. Do you believe every person has a season of suffering?
You say, Well, I’ve been kind of tracking with you. I think I’d rather have your season of suffering than my own. Like the greener grass, we can always find someone who looks like they’re getting off easy. But believe me, appearances can be deceiving.
I can tell you God is a God of perfect justice and He is measuring out to each one of us in different and wise ways. And it’s not all in the rear-view mirror. There’s more coming. To embrace our experience and to understand God allows things, in turn allows humility and wisdom to grow out of suffering.
God’s love is not a pampering love; it’s a perfecting love. So many Christians lose sight of this. God’s love is not revealed in, Oh, have some more cupcakes. I know you’ve had a few, but have some more. Aren’t they good? That’s not God’s love. God’s love is not pampering; it’s perfecting. His love is a refining love. God’s love is using the things that happen to us to humble us and to make us what He wants us to be.
Hebrews 2:9 says, “We see him, who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus.” This is the first time Jesus is mentioned in the book of Hebrews by name. “Jesus, crowned with glory and honor, because of the suffering of death.” See, there’s the exaltation that came through humility and suffering. Christ has already walked this path. God has all of those things in mind for those who keep up in the Christian journey. How did He get the name which is above every name? How was He exalted to the right hand of God according to Philippians 2:5-11? “Because of the suffering of death,” He endured. Suffering is not an optional additive; it is the pathway of life itself. It produces humility. “Because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.” Following Jesus will include suffering on the way to humility and future exaltation.
- How have I responded in general to suffering in my life?
- In what ways have I learned humility through suffering? What lessons have I missed?
Father, I confess I’d rather have a shortcut to humility and exaltation that avoided any suffering. But Your Word reminds me there’s a way that can seem so right to me but it ends up being the way of death. I don’t like suffering, but I like even less the idea of not becoming everything You intend and experiencing all You have for me. Strengthen me to see the joy beyond suffering as Your Son did, and to follow in His steps. In Jesus’ name, Amen.