The Christian Public Servant – “it leads to hope”

hope in suffering3

September 4, 2017 – Monday

Reading
Matthew 27:46(b) [NIV] Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).

Romans 5:3(b)-4 [NIV] We also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.

Reflection
Last year I read with indifference a report about the skyrocketing price of an allergic reaction drug. Despite many people suffering because of the prohibitive cost, it was easy for me to feel indifferent since I never had an allergic reaction. Then I had a reaction to my blood pressure medicine. I spent three days in the hospital, suffering on a breathing machine.

In a world of technological marvels, it’s easy to think we should never suffer. TV commercials make it seem there is a drug for anything that ails you. No one wants to suffer, and everyone tries to avoid it. Yet scripture says suffering has a beneficial effect: it leads to hope.

As you travel to work today, pay attention to all the suffering. People limping or walking with canes along the sidewalk. That man in a wheel chair in the convenience store. Think about the suffering you don’t see. Those with families trapped by storm and water. The young coworker dying of cancer. The older lady in accounting who just lost her husband. The person down the hall with diabetes, fearing that blindness comes next.

And then think of me. I now know the suffering of those who have allergic reactions. Think of yourself: have you suffered in life? And then think of Jesus, and how His suffering gave you eternal life of no suffering.

As you go to work, remember that suffering teaches caring. Suffering leads to empathy, and empathy to love. Ultimately, it leads to hope. His hope – of never being forsaken.

Yes, it leads to hope.

Prayer
Dear Lord, forgive my indifference. On the way to work today, let me be empathic of others who suffer. Help me help those in pain. Let me learn the lessons taught in my suffering, and allow hope to spring eternal from You, oh Lord. In Your name, I pray. Amen.

Stan Best
Training Manager
Apprentice School
Newport News Shipbuilding
Newport News, Virginia USA

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