Happy To Suffer

December 26, 2013

revival 2


I am happy in my sufferings for you. There are things that Christ must still suffer through his body, the church. I am accepting, in my body, my part of these things that must be suffered

~Colossians 1:24, NCV


 If you try to exclude the possibility of suffering which the order of nature and the existence of free-wills involve, and you find that you have excluded life itself.

~C.S. Lewis


When I read one of these verses where Paul is rejoicing in his suffering, I shake my head in disbelief, “How could anyone rejoice in suffering?” I think it all boils down to the right perspective. Paul said to the Colossians, “I am glad that I am suffering for you [in your behalf].” In other words, Paul was saying, “I’m glad I am in jail and not you.” I’m no where near Paul in terms of rejoicing through the trials and difficulties of life but I can honestly say that I am glad I have the six stomach ulcers instead of my wife, my children or my grandchildren. I have to be honest, I had rather have ulcers as to be in jail. As I thought about this passage in my nightly meditation, I recalled Paul and Silas being beaten and thrown into the deepest part of the jail, a very dark dungeon. At midnight, Paul and Silas were singing and praising God. I confess folks, I am not there. I want to be like Paul but I have a long, long way to go and I don’t seem to be making a lot of progress.

There is one thing in this world that I see plenty of and that is suffering. Every where I look, I see suffering. I see broken homes and broken hearts. I visited a man last Friday who has been in UAB for over 30 days. He went 19 days without having a visitor other than his wife. Every time I go to a hospital or nursing home, I see people suffering and I’ve never been to Children’s in Birmingham [even during the holidays] that it was not full of suffering children who epitomize the innocent among us. Suffering wears on me, it beats me down. Instead of rejoicing, I find myself crying out to God. I probably complain a little and even feel sorry for myself. I do everything but rejoice. Oh to be like Paul, “Pile it on LORD, the more I suffer the happier I am.”


You will get a kick out of this…it’s an email from one of Teddy’s members. I get them everyday but this one is good….

You are in my prayers today. We are looking forward to tolerating your preaching our revival next month. In the meantime, I hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas!
Bless her sweet heart, she sent another email apologizing. She said her spell checker changed the word. I sent her a reply and told her that her spell checker got it right. When people ask me how I am been able to stay at Danville for so many years, I say, “They are a very tolerate people.”

One Response to “Happy To Suffer”

  1. After a while it’s not so much tolerance as it is numbness…

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