The Way of Glory in a Sin- Stricken world.

All over the world, today marks another memorable day where Christians are once again drawn into reminiscing Christ’s suffering for a sinful world. Many people, even Christians, have found themselves asking “Couldn’t there have been any other way to salvation without such gruesome acts of suffering leading to the saviour’s death?”

We wonder why God’s conviction to bestow Glory on this sin-stricken world has to be through the path of suffering. I am glad, our guest writer gives us a wonderful exposition on the topic of Suffering on this day as a way of seeing how God’s Glory is revealed in our sinful world.

Suffering; the Way of Glory in a Sin-Striken World

One of the most popular reasons for atheism is the presence and perpetuation of evil in a God-created world. The question usually goes like this, “if God exists and is a good God, why is there so much evil and suffering in this world”? Or, “Why do bad things happen to good people”? And so on. Many people of faith have also had to wrestle with the idea of a good God who allows bad things to happen to them. Some theologians have sacrificed the truth of scripture on account of the seeming imbalance of a good God allowing evil in His world.

These age-long questions do have answers, howbeit unsatisfactory to many people. The issue isn’t that we don’t accept the answers the scriptures provide but generally, even for people of faith, many lack an appreciation of the timelines of God’s plans. We tend to assess the situation based on our short-term experience in this world while God has all of time to work out His plans. Essentially, we are shortsighted when it comes to evaluating the way of things in this life while God sees across all the scopes and dimensions of it.

That God is good and He made a good world for mankind is biblically established and can be trusted, and I guess many people like to believe that to be true. That sin entered the world and corrupted man and separated us from God is also biblically established and can be trusted, and I guess many people don’t like the sound of that so much. But therein lies the origin of all suffering. God indeed created a perfect world and gave us freewill so we are not bound, but sin altered that perfection and caricatured what we now see as the natural course of life: sickness, wickedness, death, unrequited love, cooking, childbirth, laundry, body odour, bathing twice a day (trust me, I am not a fan), and pain on end. You name it.

And God took about 4000 years to roll out His redemption plan for us through His Son Jesus Christ. And when Christ appeared on the nativity scene, He didn’t come as one immune to the suffering of this world; He came through it. He suffered just as we do. Tempted just as we are. He experienced loss and sadness when his forerunner John the Baptist was beheaded, and when his friend Lazarus died (Matthew 14:10-13, John 11:35) . He experienced rejection when his people ridiculed and doubted his ministry (Luke 4:23-30). He was betrayed when His disciples sold Him and deserted Him (Matthew 26:48,56). He was abused and humiliated and crucified, the worst kind of death anyone could ever have (Isaiah 53:5-9). And God watched Him.

When we talk about suffering and imagine that God is just sitting on His throne nonchalantly and watching the show because He’s some sadist who enjoys seeing His children suffer, we must always turn back and look at the Cross where He let His only begotten Son hang for our sins. When Jesus cried out, “My God, my God why have you forsaken me?”, He cried it for every human here on earth so we wouldn’t have to utter that same cry because we are eternally separated from God. Because that final act was the judgement of Satan, sin and death; it was our ransom and our redemption. In essence, Christ’s death was the end of our suffering. At least the part we could not end ourselves.

What our sinful nature could not accomplish for us, Christ’s divine sacrifice has bought for us.

What our sinful nature could not accomplish for us, Christ’s divine sacrifice has bought for us. And until Christ’s return, the world will remain the same and the works of the enemy and sin will attack us on every side. But we are not at the mercy of death and sorrow because we are not hopeless. We are rather called to stand with Christ even through suffering so that we may enjoy His glory with Him. As Apostle Paul puts it, “We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.”
2 Corinthians 4:8‭-‬10 NLT.

Later in that passage, he explains further, “That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!”
2 Corinthians 4:16‭-‬17 NLT

Suffering in this world will only end after Christ comes the second time and restores all creation anew. And suffering in this world while you believe and hold on to this hope is how we get to share in His glory both now and when He returns. Though while at it, make use of all the resources He’s made known to us in His word: prayer, worship, fellowship, giving, etc., and bring Him and yourself the joy that far outweighs the setbacks that suffering may bring to your doorstep.

Solomon Akwasi King (aka Eden) was born and raised in Ghana. He currently lives in Accra. He loves to write poetry, stories and articles about faith, love, and the nuances of life.

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One comment

  1. Awesome and enlightening truths on suffering. Especially that part when we suffer thinking God doesn’t care. We only have to remember He watched Jesus suffer on the cross!! Powerful.

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