Monday, September 12, 2011

Perfection = Suffering

So I was studying Hebrews for Bible Quizzing and came across this verse:

"In bringing many sons to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the author of their salvation perfect through suffering."  Hebrews 2:10
Hhmmmm.  As I was reading this, something came to me.  Perfection = Suffering.  By the simplest logic, I can come up with this: Suffering = Perfection.  

So at least part of the point of suffering is to bring us closer to perfection.  Interesting. 

On this same topic, I recently watched an extreme home makeover show where they built a house for a boy named Job and his family.  This boy had leukemia, had had both lungs replaced, and on top of that, his family's house was condemned.  

When asked why they named him Job, which means "suffering", his parents replied with a Bible verse: "In the land of Uz there lived a man named Job. This man was faithful and upright in the eyes of the Lord." The parents said that they wanted their son to be as faithful and upright as the job of the Bible.  

Because of all the pain Job has gone through, they often compare the boy Job with the Job of the Bible. As the mother said, "In the last part of the book of Job it says, 'Job was more blessed in the latter part of his life, than in the first.'  I believe that is the way it will be with our son Job; he will be blessed more in the latter part of his life than in the first."

Faithfulness through suffering brings blessings later.  Maybe on this earth, but certainly in heaven.  

So all the pain, all the struggles of this world, are they really worth it?  

As one of our favorite Mandisa songs says, "When the waves are taking you under, hold on just a little longer. He knows that this is gonna make you stronger, stronger. The pain ain't gonna last forever, and things can only get better. Believe me, this is gonna make you stronger, stronger."
Or as it says in Romans 8:28, "And we know that in all things God works together for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." 
I noticed that it doesn't say "The happiness of those who love him" but, "the good of those who love him"  What is good for me is not always what will make me happy.  

Here is one other verse from Bible Quizzing:
"Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted." (Hebrews 2:18)
If you ever think that God doesn't understand what you are going through, he does!  He experienced it!  He understands temptation, because he was tempted, for forty straight days no less, in the desert by the devil.  Think about it.  He was all alone.  He was starving, He was hot, He was tired.  He didn't have any people around him to support him.  And yet he stood firm.  
He understands criticism, because he was criticized, sometimes in the harshest terms. (Matt 9)  
He understands the unfaithfulness of people, because the crowds that cheered and praised him as Lord on Palm Sunday were the same ones who yelled "crucify him!" a week later. 
He understands grief, because he himself mourned for his friend Lazarus. (John 11:34-37)
He understands how it feels when people you are close to betray you,  because he himself was betrayed by one of his chosen few.  
He understands how it feels to be mocked, shamed, and beaten down, because all of these things were done to him. (Matt 27)
More than anything, he understands you. For who else could know you as well as the one who made you?  

He knows your thoughts, for he shaped the mind that makes them.  
He knows your heart, for he is the one who made it. 
He understands your feelings, for he was the one who gave you the ability to feel. 
He knows your love, and gives His to you a million times greater.  
For who could love more than the one who created love?