Good suffering.

Why does the redeemed still sing the slave songs?

Because every trial to him reminds him of slavery. And during his enslavement, such songs were his coping mechanism. Rather than singing his freedom which should bring him much joy, he succumbs to singing his struggle in the hope of overcoming them.

The reality is that he has already overcome his struggles through the victory that his redeemer has freely given to him. Yet, the pains of healing that he now suffers, he confuses them with the former pains of bondage.

Just this past year, I had a project that I had kept postponing due to cost. When I sought help from local companies, I received several quotes in the thousands of dollars.

I then approached a good friend of mine for help and he taught me how I could do this project myself and avoid the labor cost and the inflated price of materials that I was quoted on. At the end of the project, I explained to him how fatigued I was and that it was “good” fatigue.

When Jesus started suffering in the garden of Gethsemane all the way to the cross, the one thing that kept him going definitely was that it was “good” suffering. The author of Hebrew referred to it as such,

“For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2)

Sitting down at the right hand of the throne of His Father, that was the joy set before him. When he said, “it is finished”, he meant, “my suffering is finished”. His suffering was finished. Not his mission, for through the Holy Spirit, just as in the past, Jesus continues to save, continues to bring many to the knowledge of the truth, the knowledge of His Father.

“And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name” (Philippians 2:8-9)

Good suffering. I crave to sing the songs that remind me of good suffering. I crave to sing the songs that remind me of my freedom. And if I sing the songs that remind me of my folly, it is to that aim alone: to be reminded of my folly, my weaknesses. When I remember how weak I am, I then remember you Lord as my helper, my strength from without residing within. Your resurrection, Lord, prove your suffering to have not been in vain. Your resurrection made all the days of your suffering to have been good days. Likewise, our resurrection by Christ will have proved our suffering days to have been totally worth it.

The blood that Jesus shed for me, it will never lose its power.

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