One of the biggest misconceptions about the Christian life is that once you become a Christian everything will be pleasant and all one’s problems will go away. But those who have truly been walking with God for any amount of time know that this is not true.
Jesus never promised that life would become a walk in the park once you come to Him. In fact, he promises the exact opposite. In John 16:33a, Jesus says, “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows…” (see also Luke 9:23-25 and Matthew 5:10-12) The Christian life is a life full of suffering. No one can escape this reality.
Still, knowing what we’re in for doesn’t help us to deal with it – so what does? The rest of John 16:33 says, “But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” We must look to the cross, and see the One who suffered in our place.
Jesus suffered much more than we ever will. He took on the full wrath of God. The only way we will ever overcome our sufferings is to look to Christ, who truly suffered. Once we see the depth of our sin and how it caused Christ to die on the cross and suffer for our sake, we can then be empowered to overcome suffering.
For Jesus isn’t just a friend who sort-of knows what we are going through in our suffering; no, he understands deeply. Have a glance at what the author of Hebrews has to say on the topic:
This High Priest [Jesus] of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most. – Hebrews 4:15-16
Understand that you are not alone in your suffering – Christ suffered too, and so much more! Believer, let that profound truth of the Gospel empower you and give you peace in times of trial and suffering.