On the Incarnation and Suffering

The existence of suffering in the world causes some people, even Christians, to question whether or not God really cares about the world generally or about them in particular. Should this question ever arise in your heart, as it sometimes does in this fallen world, remind yourself of the Incarnation. Remember that Christ took upon himself flesh and dwelt among us. Remember too that he was tempted in every respect as we are, yet without sin (Heb. 4:15). We do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses.

Are you experiencing physical trials? Jesus suffered the scourge, the beatings, the crown of thorns, and the torturous death of a Roman cross.

Are you facing financial hardship? Jesus had no place to lay his head, nor did he have money in his pocket or in a bank account.

Are you lonely? Jesus was the loneliest man who ever lived. All his friends abandoned him in his darkest hour when he needed them most. He suffered the wrath of God in a place where no one else could come to his aid, come along side him, or share the experience with him.

Are you mourning? Jesus mourned over the sins of his people, the very ones he came to save.  He was rejected by his own. 

Are you tearful? Jesus wept.

Are you under a lot of stress? Jesus sweat great drops of blood under the pressure that he faced.

Do you want to get away from it all? Jesus asked God the Father that if it were possible to remove this cup (the cup of suffering) from him. Yet he still said, “Not my will, but Your will be done”

Do you think that God doesn’t really care about your suffering? Consider the Incarnation, and then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace to receive mercy and find grace in time of need (Heb. 4:16)

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About C. M. Granger

I'm a firm believer in God's sovereignty, man's responsibility, and a gracious orthodoxy. I love the Puritans and the Reformers, but I don't believe our understanding of theology reached it's zenith in the 16th and 17th centuries. I love the Reformed Creeds and Confessions, but I'm not a strict confessionalist. I'm Reformed in my soteriology (I'm a moderate Calvinist), but not in the historical sense of the term (I'm a Baptist). Some of my favorite theologians/commentators are Kevin Vanhoozer, John Frame, D.A. Carson, Thomas Schreiner, Andreas Kostenberger, Peter O'Brien, David Peterson, Douglas Moo, and GK Beale. The list of dead theologians/commentators would be too long to list here. I think it's important to read widely, to read primary sources for yourself, and to accurately represent the positions of those whom you oppose. I believe it's imperative to have a proper balance between systematic and bibilical theology. I try to never make a round verse fit into the square hole of a theological system.
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