The Guy I Follow Was Crucified
How to become a better worshiper:
I was listening to a podcast by Mark Driscoll and it sparked some interest in my mind about the relationship between worship and suffering. I have written on this in the past, but hopefully this will be somewhat of a different perspective.
If we call ourselves Christians, we would be fools to think that life should be peachy because of it. Just read 1 Peter 4. Not only are we to expect suffering, but we are to “rejoice, be glad, and glorify God” in the midst of it. But instead we often view suffering as something to avoid, and if we are in the midst of it, we try to find the quickest way out of it.
Suffering isn’t really something we aim for.
But it is! Because we aim for Christ, and we are most like Christ when we suffer, and we grow in worship through suffering. Suffering and trials test our worship and our very identity. Suffering can be a gift that leads to a greater good. What greater good? Worship.
If I were to ask most Christians if they would like to be better worshipers, I would assume that at least the majority would say “yes.” So then I would tell them to suffer. And then I may lose a few votes because of that. But suffering is what we aim for. Why? Because we follow Christ. Christ Suffered. Not that we are to actually seek out suffering and beat ourselves with a golf club or throw ourselves off tall buildings, but that when suffering in our lives come, we embrace it because it’s a great opportunity to glorify God.
The person we claim to follow and want to be like and strive to be like died a horrible, painful, humiliating death on a cross.
Why should we expect something in the opposite direction? Especially if we are the ones deserving of that death?
That we can feel the weight of our sin that was placed upon the shoulders of a spotless and pure sacrifice, and our realize our depravity and desperation for Christ, and embrace the suffering of Christ in our lives and in the midst rejoice, be glad, and glorify God- that is my desire. Because when we do, it enhances to glory of God, the glory of the cross, and ultimately our worship. And when we suffer, we become like Christ.
Some of my best worship experiences have came from the midst of suffering or a trial, and based on conversations I’ve had, I’m not the only one. And the majority of our most popular and cherished hymns were written after the author suffered greatly. There’s a beauty in the midst of suffering when we respond to Christ with joy and gladness. My challenge is that whenever a season of trial or suffering finds itself in our lives, that instead of trying to fix it quickly or get depressed about it, we rejoice in it because of the great opportunity for spiritual growth and it’s great potential for the ultimate glorification of Christ.
-thanks for reading