God said, “Me Too.” By: Dave Griffiths

By: Dave Griffiths

The message of God’s lavish grace is in no way a guarantee that we won’t suffer. God’s Grace isn’t a part of who God is; God doesn’t choose to be gracious. God IS LOVE, and you can’t be love without being grace; and you can’t be grace without being loving. The two are inseparable.

But the reality that has been the case for every single disciple in scripture is that ‘in this world we will have trouble’. Every single disciple had to endure immense suffering. Most were martyred. They had experienced Jesus, full of Grace and Truth. They had walked with him, talked with him, eaten with him. They had encountered the embodiment of God. And yet they were to suffer.

Suffering is a given in this life. Trusting Jesus and experiencing God’s grace doesn’t get you out of it. In fact Jesus told his disciples (and that included us) that he had come to bring a sword that would split up families, and that they should expect to be flogged in the village squares. He bid them to pack up their own electric chair and follow him – ok, it was a cross, but the message is the same – come and die!

Trauma is often where we are left with a stark choice. Embrace our suffering and trust in God’s Grace to hold us and lead us through the valley; or deny it and ‘bypass’ it.

‘Spiritual Bypassing’ is when christians fob off real issues with cheap spiritualisms that sound holy but in fact just delay or swerve facing up to our suffering.

“How are you, Dave?”
“God is Good. By His stripes I’m healed”

Yes, but parroting out christian tropes isn’t working out our healing. God may well lead us into healing, and I believe this is true, but it can be a long and deep process. Sometimes life-long. We can’t hide behind Spiritual Bypassing for long. The cracks will show. We certainly can’t hide from our loving Heavenly Father.

Sometimes God’s Grace is about being supplied the courage to say,

“I’m not okay. I’m hurting. I need help”

Jesus said “In this world you will have trouble, but take heart – for I have overcome the world”. It’s both. We will have trouble but the person of Christ has ultimately overcome and whilst we can live in the glorious hope of healing, and experience many wonderful kisses from our loving Heavenly Father, trouble still comes knocking.

One day all will be made new and reconciled fully to the Father. Until then we work out our lives day by day in faith that there is grace to fall into whenever the suffering bites.

I hope you’re encouraged. Encouraged to embrace a grace that allows us to experience the reality of suffering and pain and yet supplies hope and perseverance. The cross is God’s big ‘me too’. We come to a God that has suffered, a man of sorrows; well acquainted with grief. Your divine big brother Jesus knows. He walks with you now.

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