Love and suffering are the two ‘legs’ on which we walk in life. It is in our nature to love because we are made by God who is love (1 Jn. 4:8). Since we follow Jesus who is love incarnate, not only will His Spirit empower us to love all people, but He will also strengthen us in our moments of suffering. He was like us in all things but sin, and did not have the privilege of escaping the sufferings that life encompasses.
The ultimate suffering on the cross was preceded by moments of on-going rejection (Lk. 4:24-30). With their mouths, the leaders and people rejected Jesus and spoke ill of Him. Many of His followers verbally abused Him and left His company and ministry. Even His own Disciples betrayed, denied and abandoned Him. But His love for them kept Him faithful to His Father’s mission. His suffering would bring strength and “by His wounds we are healed” (1 Pt. 2:24). May our love for Jesus and others give us courage in our sufferings, as we trust Him to lead us into His promise of eternal life.
Lord Jesus, teach me how to see suffering as a time of purification, so that as I join mine to Your suffering of rejection which led to the cross, I may also share in the glory of Your resurrection. Amen.