the school of suffering
"He learned obedience from what He suffered." —Hebrews 5:8
What a gift suffering can be! You may be unable to perform physical or mental feats, but you are always able to suffer. Everyone can suffer. Contrary to the "wisdom" of the culture of death, suffering has great value. When everything goes perfectly for you, it's not hard to obey. "What merit is there in that?" (Mt 5:46) Even Satan commented on this when Job was blessed with prosperity, saying "Is it for nothing that Job is God-fearing? Have You not surrounded him and his family and all that he has with Your protection? You have blessed the work of his hands" (Jb 1:9-10).
When we can obey God as we suffer, that is a grace in us (see 1 Pt 4:13-14). This is a tremendous witness to others of our belief in the absolute lordship of Jesus. We actually learn obedience from suffering (Heb 5:8). Suffering has such great power that Jesus chose to redeem us through His suffering.
God Himself didn't create suffering, but He allows it for greater purposes. Jesus removes much unnecessary suffering through healings and miracles, but those sufferings He allows we can offer redemptively on behalf of His body (see Col 1:24). It is our joy and privilege to suffer redemptively (Phil 1:29). Through your redemptive suffering, teach a hurting world to obey God.
Prayer: Father, "I consider the sufferings of the present to be as nothing compared with the glory to be revealed in us" (Rm 8:18).
Promise: Jesus "became the Source of eternal salvation for all who obey Him." —Heb 5:9
Praise: St. Agnes accepted the sword of death so that she could maintain her virginity for Christ.
Reference: (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
Rescript: †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 27, 2012
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