Being people of faith does not exempt us from suffering. As members of the body of Christ, we share in creation’s groaning, waiting, and yearning for God’s promised redemption. The promise for us is that this brokenness is not all that is or all that will be, and seeing sorrow, fear, aging, and illness as “labor pains” does not deny their reality—instead, it helps us see them from a new perspective: as part of the labor pains that signal the coming of God’s new day.
There is a difference between expressing hope while standing apart from suffering and expressing hope while in the midst of it. The latter is a powerful expression of faith. God enters into our suffering to bring hope of healing. In baptism, we are joined to the death and resurrection of Christ. We share in Christ’s suffering and death on the cross, trusting in God’s promise of redemption.
This message is adapted from “Resting on God’s Promises” written by Julie A. Kanarr in the July-August 2004 issue of Lutheran Woman Today (now Gather magazine).