people who are suffering, the gospel sounds like the good news that
it really is.
It offers hope and comfort, with no threat of punishment. Even in the
most hopeless situations where it seems to others that there should
be no reprieve, there is hope. So it really is good news.
is a great equalizer, for it can apply to young or old, to weak or
strong, to rich or poor, to black or white and to every national
identity. As well, it applies to humans who are more good than evil,
and to those who are more evil than good. Suffering does not divide
people, for it strikes inside every human heart, where we know there
is a divided heart. We find therein good and evil, and it is
suffering which more amply divides that two way heart.
God is with us, suffering stirs and nourishes the goodness in our
hearts so we can say “thank
you for this evil prison in which we have entered”,
as some have been able to. Suffering humbles everyone, for it is not
possible to be proud and self important, when we suffer. There is no
competition in suffering for no one wishes more of it than another
of all persuasions long for help, and plead to be reclaimed from the
cry out for solutions and when none comes, the comforters who have
come to help in the difficulty, are as impotent as the trees.
Comforters cannot solve problems and recognize their impotence to
heal a permanent disability, or to change the behaviour of a
tormentor. No one can manage that, so no one can claim the cure. Some
bystanders turn away and walk on the other side, maybe for selfish
reasons, or for religious reasons, but comforters go down onto the
road and into the pit with the sufferer and find an understanding of
love and grace there, and a healing of sorts. They recognize that God
is in that place there.
God blesses the tormented sufferers and the comforters alike, when
they are both in place, because His face shines in the pit.
can make us interdependent for we cease to be safe in our own secure
life potential. No sufferer is self sufficient. Everyone suffers at
some time or other in their life, and all sufferers need help. Godly
comforters know that there is a blessing in the giving and the
receiving of help, but ultimately the eventual dependence
on God is the only safety net.
people have no desire to think of the possessions in their lives.
People are important, things are not important, luxuries become a
burden. The physical necessities of life are a sufferer’s only
need. Godly sufferers learn patience, dogged patience, until they
become helpless God loving saints, with a never ending source of
importuning with a bothering of the Father, day and night, in every
waking hour. The importuning for a list of things gradually becomes a
soothing silence as the silent partner with God realizes that God
already knows what is required.
abandon reason and ask for the seemingly impossible, with an
uncomplicated sense of
being able to whisper in
the ear of the Father. They have learned to trust their dependency on
God and His love, and
earnestly do so without regard to criticism. The
approach, in the terrible
need, will not
strengthen any character towards independence but it will strengthen
connection with the
Father so that He is walking beside the depending sufferer.
is a fatigue in trying to escape from the suffering, when it seems
that it never ends. It is a tormenting thorn, a weeping sore, and any
transforming acceptance seems elusive yet. Poverty, poor in spirit,
mourners, the meek and helpless, those who hunger and thirst after
righteousness, those who need mercy and peace, those persecuted for
righteousness sake, those reviled and accused of all manner of evil
Rejoice and be exceedingly glad for your reward is in heaven,
Matthew 5. They
are all dependent sufferers, long sufferers, with a joy in the