12 May Blessings of Suffering – Editorial
Free! Free! Buy 1 Get 1 Free! Pain-free! Risk-free! are the words we hear around us. Common tendency is to have pain-free gains. Prevalent are some fancy teaching that Christ’s death on the cross has ended all the pain and suffering from the face of believers. Bible teaches us that Christ’s death on the cross was to make salvation available to us. Suffering is an integral part of Christian discipleship. Cross-bearing is the conditional qualifi cation to a follower of Jesus Christ, emulating his/her Forerunner who endured the worst form of cruelty. Carrying the cross is our way of life. To the early Church, cross meant death. What Jesus has confi rmed in Jn 16:33 (In the world you have tribulation), Paul reiterates that in 2 Tim. 3:12 (Indeed all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted).
Life is not problem-free; things that we are uncomfortable with will happen normally. Suffering for a right cause and an unjust treatment are not alien to Christians ever since the ancient Church history. Had missionaries shunned problems, we would be without our Bibles, education, healthcare, and many other life-essentials. When we think of William Carey’s burnt manuscripts, Mrs Gladys’ losing of her husband and two young sons, some of our own experiences and that of others will fl ash in our minds. We know that all these are worth passing through for the sake of our faith. Those who don’t dare to face the sufferings can’t stand for biblical values but succumb to the currents.
Suffering can either make us or break us depending on our attitude. Right perspective results in patience, perseverance which determines our altitude of maturity. Avoidance of sufferings is an indicator that one has a long way to go.
This edition brings you a wide variety of articles unfolding in-depth insights for your benefit. May we read and tread the path of our suffered Saviour with His power of resurrection.
P. John Jebaraj James