The School of Suffering

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Joni and Friends
The School of Suffering

by Joni Eareckson Tada

During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.

Hebrews 5:7-9

When we choose to follow Jesus, God enrolls us in the same school of suffering His own Son endured. Most of us really want to follow Christ and learn His lessons, but we squirm at the idea of picking up His cross every day in order to grasp those lessons. We want the deep insights of following Him, but we don’t want the suffering that sometimes comes with it. We want intimacy with Jesus, but we don’t want to make the tough choice to patiently obey Him in our hardships.

So what does obedience look like? Don’t complain when affliction comes. Don’t grumble at life’s disappointments. Forgive over and over again. Don’t let the sun set on your anger. Rejoice in suffering. Consider others better than yourself. A list of dos and don’ts? No, you’re following the Man of Sorrows and Lord of Joy, who gives you all the grace you need for every challenge.

Lord, I know all my words about loving and serving You fall flat if I neglect to obey You. But life is too short for empty words. Fill me with Your Holy Spirit so I will hear Your every whisper and respond to Your every nudge. At the end of this day, I want the sweet assurance that I have pleased You.

Taken from A Spectacle of Glory

By Joni Eareckson Tada

Copyright © 2016
Published in Print by Zondervan, Grand Rapids

All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible: New International Version.

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