Today's post is from Concordia Deaconess Jennifer Kettler and is part of a series on Lent. Concordia's Chaplaincy Department actively contributes to our residents' well being the commitment they show to those in our care is one of the many ways that Concordia stands out from other senior care providers. If you have any questions or would like to contribute a thought or idea, feel free to leave a comment below!
Sometimes when bad things happen, we ask why. More specifically, we ask why God allowed this to happen to us. What did we do to deserve it?
My son, do not despise the Lord's discipline
or be weary of his reproof,
for the Lord reproves him whom he loves,
as a father the son in whom he delights.
- Proverbs 3:11-12
Sometimes God sends us affliction to turn us around and bring us to repentance. However, sometimes, his discipline is not punishment, but enrichment. God is making us stronger. He does this because He loves us.
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.
- James 1:2-3
God is not asking us to enjoy pain. Rather this is acknowledging our suffering, that it hurts, but encouraging us to have patience and peace, knowing that the Lord is working in this. His plans are perfect and He accomplishes His will. God's will is our salvation.
The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor;
he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted?
?to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit;
that they may be called oaks of righteousness,
the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified.
- Isaiah 61:1,3
In His earthly life and death, Christ was humbling Himself, submitting to suffering, so that our salvation was accomplished. He left His glory in heaven and came to this earth to suffer and die. Then He rose again and returned to glory. Because of Christ, we also get to experience glory in heaven. But while we are on earth, life will not always be comfortable and pain free.
He was despised and rejected by men;
a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief;
and as one from whom men hide their faces
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
Surely he has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
smitten by God, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his wounds we are healed.
- Isaiah 53:3-5
For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake.
- Philippians 1:29
So, what comfort do we have in these afflictions? Check back next week to see how God comforts us when we undergo pain, suffering, and trials. May the peace of Christ be with you throughout this Lenten journey.