A Theology of Suffering by Heidi Baker

Did you read today’s title and think about skipping it? The topic of suffering is a hard one to grasp, but trust me, no theology is sweeter or more wonderful when you grasp even the tiniest morsel of it. What I am writing about here is highly controversial. 
Not everyone in the Church likes this doctrine. To be honest, I didn’t like it myself for a long, long time. I didn’t like the idea of denying myself and dying daily. In theological circles, one group of Jesus’ teachings is called “The Hard Sayings.” These include teachings like “give up all you have,” “leave your family behind,” “take up your cross” and “if you try to keep your life, you will lose it.”
For a long time, I didn’t like sermons on those subjects. I wanted to hear about protection, favor, blessing, shields and heaven on earth. I wanted overweight angels on my side to make sure I didn’t have to suffer anything. But hidden in suffering is value so deep and wonderful. It is something many in the West have not experienced. Like I used to, they think the coffee machine not working is persecution. 
You don’t hear a lot of sermons preached on the hard verses. But let me tell you, they are essential to a holistic understanding of faith, the Gospel, life, eternity and just about everything that matters. You may think that is a sweeping statement, but I base it on a list of Scriptures as long as your arm. The Bible is rich with verses about suffering, but these have not become our bumper stickers and our memory verses. 
We chose to remember verses like “The one who is in you is greater…” (1 John 4:4) instead. To be on track with God, we must have a balanced understanding of His Word. Are you willing to accept something from His Word that you may not like? Ask Him to help you be open to His truth, even if it offends your theology.


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