“But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen this way?” Matthew 26:54
Jesus asked this question after Peter had just attempted to cut off the ear of the high priest’s servant. Though Jesus knew what His fate was, and even asked His Father to change the plan, He accepted this journey for the salvation of all humanity.
Hebrews 12:2 tells us that Jesus “…who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” JOY? That word, even in the context of the verse, still stuns me. For those who have suffered losses, including myself, this is a noun that escapes me. I have endured the pain of losing numerous loved ones over the past 30 years, including a teenage boyfriend, a first husband, a father, a mother, and several friends. In the face of these losses, I can’t recall feeling joy.
Thankfully, the stages of grief do pass in time, and I have better understood that my pain is simply part of my testimony. I have cried out to the Lord more than once, asking, “Why me? Why must it happen this way?” One day in heaven, I hope to sit at Jesus’ feet and hear His loving answer. Until then, I have to experience the pain and suffering of loss, although it’s nothing in comparison to what Jesus suffered.
Now that I have walked the journey of loss, I am better able to minister to those who need their cries heard, their tears dried, and a shoulder to lean on. This is what does bring me joy. The apostle Paul referred to this as a ministry of suffering when he calls Jesus “the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).
Lord, when I am in the midst of excruciating pain, please remind me of the pain and suffering You endured. Help me remember Your joy when You were rejected, beaten, and went to the cross for my sin, which gained salvation for me. Help to me to walk through my pain, knowing it is part of my journey and testimony, for Your glory. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Make a list of your losses or sufferings and lay them at the foot of God’s throne. Ask Him to show you others that may have a similar testimony whom you may minister to.