Romans 8:17 (NKJV) Now if we are children, then we are heirs, heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.
Like many other Christians, my parents thought that if they honored God and dedicated their children to the Lord, they’d somehow be shielded from pain, suffering, and life’s difficult realities. Learning that their son, me (James Baker, Jr), was had been caught in the street life and the fast lane helped them to see that this belief was false.
My parents wrestled not only with the reality of life but losing me as their son and our relationship at this time in life to my addiction season. But also my parents had to deal with their own feelings of guilt in this season of our lives. They wondered what they could’ve done differently to keep their son from a worldly lifestyle. Sorrow and regret consumed them for sure. Today if this sounds like you and your situation not to worry the “Glory is coming”!
Yet God used this terrible incident to mold and deepen my parents’ faith especially my Mom. Suffering of my wayward life choices brought them face-to-face with change they’d never anticipated. It was in that dark and painful crucible that my parents learned about compassion, courage, forgiveness, and repentance. Their hearts were truly broken, but they were also truly changed as people because of what happened to me. Today’s message is especially for parents, leaders, educators, mentors, mentees, etc.
Point to ponder- You, too, can and should learn from suffering. Don’t be angered by it. Don’t come out the other side a bitter person. Look at your suffering as an intimacy with Christ, a time to sense his love and compassion, and to grow to trust God and grow closer to Him.
Quote Elbert Hubbard- “Complete success alienates a man from his fellows, but suffering makes kinsmen of us all.”
For His Glory,
Pastor James Baker, Jr.