Pain is not the Final Answer

(Jesus) had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted. – Heb. 2:17-18

After last week’s shootings in Baton Rouge, St. Paul, and Dallas, the one word that kept popping up was “why?” Why do these things keep happening? Why is there so much unrest in this country? Why do I feel so scared in this day and age? These questions are understandable, as many of us – regardless of ethnicity, gender, or religion – cannot help but question the escalating conflicts of the last year of so. And the reasons behind them.

I would submit to you that, although these are relatively new problems, 2016 America is really no different from any other time. Sin, death, and pain have always been prevalent in our society. The manner in which pain manifests itself changes, but the results stay the same.

According to Genesis 1:31, God saw all that He created, and, behold, it was good. That means it was perfect in God’s eyes. Then Adam and Eve decided to rebel, and, well, the rest is history.

As Christians, we can handle the adversity that pain provides. We don’t have to enjoy it, but our eternal perspective makes what happens in this world a bit more tolerable. Whenever there is a crisis in the world, Michele likes to ask, “How would you handle something like this without Christ in your life?” That’s a great question. But the good news is we do have a beautiful relationship with Jesus Christ that nobody can take away.

It’s okay to get angry, frustrated, or upset when you lose a job. Or you receive a discouraging diagnosis. Or your country faces extreme tension from within. It’s okay to feel this way when we suffer. But remember that Jesus suffered too. Jesus emptied himself by making himself nothing. He died for us. On a cross. His pain was real, just like ours is. But it was his death that changed everything.

Our pain is not the final answer. Christ is.

In His Name,

-Matt

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