How suffering empowers disciple-making
Thursday, February 15, 2018
I don't take the subject of suffering lightly. God brought to mind a memory of me being in an overflowing trauma intensive care unit waiting room. There were no empty seats and people were continuously coming in with broken hearts and paralyzing fears. There's so much hurting, yet we don't always see it on the outside.
There are simply not enough people sharing the light of Christ. It’s as if we’ve forgotten what He’s saved us from — the pit of hell and despair. Our suffering further equips us to shine, showing real-life examples of God’s promises.
In Christ, we have peace beyond understanding and hope for tomorrow. Praising God through significant loss is a balm to the soul. He empowers you to forgive those who hurt you.
Do you normally seek out help from someone with credibility? I do. Jesus isn't some far away regal king who doesn't know how I feel. He left heaven and dwelt among us. He sees the pain in our eyes, and He has experienced physical and emotional pain and heartbreak. He was tempted in every way. So who better for me to go to than our great and sympathetic High Priest who understands and who has been there Himself?
By way of disciple-making, who better then than a follower of Christ who has suffered to be present with the hurting, as Jesus would. To lend a listening ear and when the Spirit encourages. To share: "My dear, I feel you. I've been broken-hearted, betrayed, in despair, abused, abandoned, flat broke, sick and grieving. Let me assure you of this, even through your pain, fears and doubts — Jesus will grow you and He will get you through."
It is often said that disciple-making is sharing your life. That means sharing trials, doubts, fears and your journey to healing. No, it may not be pretty or tidy, but you’re sharing that there's beauty from ashes.
Brokenness is our certain commonality. So, comfort someone in the same way that you have been comforted from God. We are called to:
- Be vulnerable with the hurting.
- Remember our salvation.
- Recall God’s healing.
- Share our life with others.
Jesus said “as you go, make disciples.” He also said “in this world you will have trouble.” He calls us, as His witnesses, to share that there is no place so dark that He doesn’t hear our cries.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Meredith Snoddy serves as the communications and women’s ministry director at Green Street Baptist Church in High Point.