Beads of Joy 04-30-10
The Spirit - Suffering Like Jesus
©2010 James Dacey, Jr. SFO
Life in The Spirit 5/5
This week has gone by too fast. I hope and pray that you have all gained much personal insight into your own life as each day has passed. Today let us look at our Lord's suffering and how He had a certain patience about it. Patience is yet another fantastic fruit of the Spirit. I also believe patience takes insight and foresight in order to get through the toughest of challenges. Jesus endured long suffering, suffering I believe even the toughest and strongest people of our time would have had a challenge, with having patience to endure. It seems that in today's world many people who suffer tend to be angry and have a temper that flares up often and inevitable God gets blamed for the suffering. That I think is a pretty fair assessment of a portion of those suffering in the world we live in today. How blessed is the person who suffers in whatever capacity and in turn thanks God and offers it all up to Him, embracing the cross they have been given. I realize it's not for everybody, but Jesus set a perfect example for us to observe and understand, from that we should be able to draw strength. At the moment I am not suffering physically, but in the realm of life and the challenges we get put into our faces; I've have to say this past decade has been extremely difficult, in every aspect of our family life, financial, relationship, responsibilities, you name it, pretty much everything. I thank God that my faith is on a solid foundation, and that gives me such strength through everything.
There is a certain transformation that has to take place when the Spirit that dwells inside us is alive. Jesus suffered greatly, there's no denying that. We can look at all the movies portraying His suffering and we can also reflect upon the current days anger and violence that is all throughout the middle-east and we still probably can't grasp the extent of long suffering that Jesus joyfully embraced. I know He wasn't laughing and it wasn't a party for Him when I say "joyfully". But we know that Jesus and the Father are one, Jesus has the ability to call 10,000 legions of angels in a mere thought of words to rescue Him, if He wanted, but He didn't do that. Instead He took it, and He dealt with the pain and humiliation and suffering for many hours. Not one word of complaint, in fact it was just the opposite, He prayed for many along the way (the women of Jerusalem, His Mother, the Pharisees, the guards). And in the end, "Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." Luke 23:34. Could we do that? I don't know, I will say I can, but can I?, especially when I am going through it. I don't know, maybe not. It's easy to say "yes" when we really know will probably never ever suffer like He has.
God by no means wants us to suffer just for the sake of suffering. Please understand that if you are in an abusive relationship, or a situation that you are not even being treated fairly in: physically, emotionally, mentally or in anyway that is outright wrong, reach out for help. There can be no peace and patience found in that. God would rather you out of harms way. I pray that anyone in that situation seeks others for help, or seeks safety elsewhere. The suffering and pain Jesus endured was from our sins; for the most part, the suffering we endure for Jesus is from illnesses or for sharing the gospel, they can all be offered up to Him. I haven't been treated very mean by any means these past 27 years of my life because of my faith, I am grateful for that. But through the years I have been snickered at and have had many an ignorant comment about what I believe. That's Ok, I say, "Thank you Jesus". And just like we have been told on facebook that all "religious" posting are being monitored (whatever that means, talk about profiling), I say bring it on. I have no fear for slander or abuse, it's all done in the name of Jesus. I say this boldly, "NO ONE can or will ever take Jesus away from me, they can't, they have not been given that power. Jesus is in my mind, heart and soul for all eternity. Even if my body was beaten, and burned; in the end, Jesus would still remain in me." Now check out this scripture, and it'll give you strength through these challenging times. "Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life." Revelation 2:10
Under normal circumstances the world would respond with frustration, and anger and probably even retaliation; but through the power of the Holy Spirit we find strength. Jesus patiently dealt with His attackers, and all those angry at Him. To sum it all up I probably would reflect on this scripture, "For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit," 1 Peter 3:18 Jesus showed us plainly that life here on earth is temporal and by holding onto this world, we will miss out on the eternal one with Him. We must trust that God's plan is what we must embrace, I know it's always easier said then done, I agree. "For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows." 2 Corinthians 1:15. Ponder these thoughts as the week ends: In our own life, where have we suffered and endured much pain through either an illness or because we shared the gospel? Let's pray for one another, that we have the strength to endure anything thrown at us, and that we offer it all up to our Lord.
Your brother in Christ Jesus & His Most Blessed Mother,
Jim (The Rosary Man) Dacey Jr SFO