Conviction and Healing
Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed—Isaiah 53:4-5.
The Apple Dictionary defines conviction: “The quality of showing that one is firmly convinced of what one believes or says.”
Isaiah 53:5 clearly teaches that Christ’s sacrifice on the cross heals our wounds. Everything in us that is broken, Christ perfectly heals. Christ’s pain heals our pain. Christ’s perfect blood heals our poisoned blood. Christ’s weakness gives us our strength. Christ’s surrendering to the Father allows us to surrender to the Father. Christ learning obedience through suffering opens a way for us to learn obedience through suffering (Hebrews 5:8). Suffering is part and parcel of the Christian life.
We also need deep convictions and godly suffering brings this forth. The greater the suffering, the deeper the conviction. One may ask, Are these deeper convictions even necessary? Can’t I just live my Christian life where I am? After all, I already believe in Christ, the Bible, and in God’s redemptive power. It is one thing for someone to go into great length describing the taste and texture of honey, but unless I experience and taste honey myself, I will never truly be able to say, I have eaten and experienced the sweetness and the overwhelming smooth texture of honey. As the apostle Paul states in Colossians 1:24, “Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ's afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church.” Or we can think about it this way; those who have never truly mourned have never truly laughed.
Why is this? Are Christians a bunch of masochists who love to suffer? Absolutely not! We certainly do not want to suffer and we are told to expect it. Suffering for the Christian brings healing to our souls and what could be more important than that? The redemption of Christ through his beatings and torture brings eternal healing to our souls. We believe this is true. Our convictions grow deeper as we suffer as Christ suffered. “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted” (Matthew 5:4).
The more we fill up what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ, the greater the healing of our hearts. What we lack in life is not more money, better health, or a better spouse. What we lack may be suffering that deeply sets the convictions of Christ within the recesses of our souls.
How do I view suffering? Do I run from it or embrace it?
How would I explain the good suffering brings to a non-Christian?
Father, I don’t like suffering. It’s painful. But I know You have a purpose for everything You allow into my life. And it’s true I want to know You in a deeper and richer way, which is exactly what suffering nurtures. Give me the courage to endure and joyfully accept whatever suffering You deem necessary for that to happen. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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