A few weeks ago, I preached a message entitled, “Does God Want Me to Suffer?” My conclusion, after 45 minutes, was YES, inasmuch as we voluntarily enter into the sufferings of others so that we might help lift them out of it. This, I suggested was on the basis of (1) Christ’s own life, which became (2) Paul’s model, which he (3) commends to the Philippians.
It must also be said that God is uniformly against any form of abuse or victimization of anyone anywhere. Further, there is no value in suffering for suffering’s sake. No, the call to Christian suffering is a call derived from the very life of Christ, which was willfully given for the sake of the world, which was suffering in the bondage to sin.
For our sake [God] made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God (2 Cor 5:21, ESV).
Today, my handy dandy Old Reader, gave me Greg Boyd, talking about the same issue. And doing it better. In 6 minutes.