“Consider him who endured such hostility against himself from sinners, so that you may not grow weary or lose heart.”
— Hebrews 12:3 (NRSV)
This article is not about those who have Messiah Complexes. It’s actually about persecution—all sorts—from bullying, the cold shoulder, ridicule, dishonour, derision, to physical beatings, etc.
Have you ever suffered like Jesus,
Or can you in any way relate?
Have you ever been condemned,
Given cause to be irate?
Have you ever been despised like the Lord?
Knowing the knowledge of such hurt,
Or having been ignored,
Had your face rubbed in the dirt.
Have you ever suffered ridicule?
Not taken seriously no matter what,
That presence of feeling miniscule,
Having felt small as a dot.
Have you ever been dishonoured,
Like our Saviour on the cross?
Having given your all, despondent,
Only to be considered dross.
If you’ve suffered like Jesus,
Your suffering’s not in vain,
If you’ve managed to suffer well,
You’ve done so in order to gain.
For suffering well like Jesus,
Is like holding eternity in our hand,
No matter what we suffer,
With Jesus one day we’ll stand.
Connecting Our Personal Suffering with Jesus’
Everyone has suffering, if they are honest; even if it is simply an occasional bout of disconsolate existential anxiety—that life itself is often a confusing reality.
But there is also a suffering we all identify with.
We have an opportunity in our suffering to delve deeply in prayer with the suffering of our Saviour. Here we can make a connection. Here our suffering has purpose and meaning. Here we can look to God, knowing that by suffering well we are doing Divine bidding.
Suffering... Just Like Jesus
“In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.”
— Hebrews 12:4 (NRSV)
Yes we have suffered, but in comparison with Jesus we suffer little. Acknowledging this fact is not about undermining our suffering, but instead it encourages us that we can endure in the manner of Jesus.
The more we consider how much our suffering aligns with what Jesus suffered, the more we are acquainted with Jesus. The person of Jesus, especially as the Suffering Servant of Isaiah, is the living, breathing, feeling person of the Son of God; a God always able to identify with us in our suffering.
When ever we feel lonely, condemned, ridiculed, silenced, ignored, or in any sort of pain, we have a good friend in Jesus—who suffered these and more. It’s no small consolation to be considered with God, now and in all eternity.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.