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Tag: suffer

When I first glanced at this photo, my initial reaction was unbelief. To my surprise, it is very real.  It is the Kinnaur Road in India, and it is known as one of the deadliest roads in the world.  It is 459 km in length, or approximately 285 miles.  It is easy to see from this photo why the road is so dangerous! It is an extremely narrow road that requires great skill in navigating.  To label this road as treacherous may be an understatement; and yet, it reminded me of this passage:
Matt. 7:14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
The Greek word for narrow is thlibo, which is translated as trouble, afflict, or suffer tribulation.  Think about that for a moment. Christ was telling His disciples that the road to life is affliction or tribulation, and there would be few that find it.
Now, imagine that you are in India, and the only way to get to your destination is the Kinnaur Road.  You may want to avoid it; you may try to see if there is an alternate route.  You may just decide that it’s not worth the risk and not go at all.  The problem is, if you don’t take the route, you won’t get to your destination.  This is what Christ was telling His disciples, and ultimately telling us: we can choose to avoid taking the route of suffering and affliction, but we won’t get to our destination.
Every time we avoid suffering, we are attempting to take a detour to the kingdom. It may seem easy to take the detour in this life, and the more detours we take, the easier it becomes.  The truth is, however, the more detours we take, the further we are removed from our destiny.  Then, one day, we will have to face the harsh truth that in the life to come, there is no detour.  There is only one road to life – the narrow road.

01-bearing-one-anothers-burdens4Acts 14:22 strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.
What are tribulations?  Simply put, tribulations are severe trials or sufferings.  The root of the word tribulation is a Latin word tribulare, which means to press or squeeze.  But why would a loving God require this of us while we are here on earth?  Even the Lord Jesus prayed that if there was any way possible for Him to avoid His cup of suffering, God would grant Him a way of escape.  It is in our human nature to avoid suffering at almost any cost. Most people don’t look forward to pain and suffering; indeed, many have been told in life that experience is not always the best teacher.  Yet, there is no reward that is received that was not preceded by some degree of sacrifice and suffering.  It is more than coincidence that the garden which Christ was in during His darkest hour was the Garden of Gethsemane.  The very name Gethsemane means oil-press.  It was the place of suffering.  Yet, Christ could not have been raised from the dead unless He had first suffered and died.  This is the pattern He set for us.  Likewise, we cannot be raised to life unless we first suffer and die.  It is easy to say we desire a heavenly reward; however, have we counted the cost of what is required of us to receive that reward?  There is no reward without competing, there is no competing without training, and there is no training without suffering.  It is for this very reason that our Lord admonished us that the road to life is not only narrow, but hard, and that there will be few that find it.  Christ had to travel the path alone, for He was the prototype.  We, however, were not created to carry such a burden by ourselves:
Gal. 6:2 Carry one another’s burdens; in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
It was for this very reason that we were baptized into one body – the body of Christ.  We don’t enter into the kingdom alone; we enter into the kingdom together.