The Myth of Suffering

A Christian myth is an idea that people think is true but does not actually have any Biblical basis.

Luke 4:1-44

Reference:  v.1  Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the desert. (NIV Bible)


Explore:  There are many myths around the idea of Christianity.  A Christian myth is an idea that people think is true but does not actually have any Biblical basis.  One of these myths that Christians tend to believe is: If you are in tune with God you won't experience any suffering.  Now, if we really think about this idea and look through scripture at Jesus' life, we soon realise this myth is ridiculous.  However, this idea that as Christians we should not suffer continually creeps back in to our thinking.  When I was growing up, all the powerful testimonies that I heard were people sharing that as soon as they found Jesus everything turned out okay.  So when I experienced pain and suffering I automatically thought that I must be distant from Jesus.  However, now that I look at the life of Christ more closely I see quite the opposite.

Application:  When Jesus was baptised and 'full of the Holy Spirit' our myth would inform us that He would be so connected to God that nothing would cause him to suffer.  However, directly after this baptism event happened, the writer of Luke tells us that Jesus was led into the desert.  Now, from all accounts that we've heard of this desert journey, it was not an easy forty days.  He ate nothing and was tempted by the devil.  Both these things seem like pretty severe suffering to me.  And so, for us to entertain this myth that just because we are connected to God we should not experience suffering is not only wrong but actually opposite to what Jesus experienced.  I guess it seems that my conclusion today is not necessarily a happy one: Whether we are connected to God or not we will experience suffering.  HOWEVER, the joy of being connected to God is that if we trust in Him during the times of suffering then it will lead us into a closer relationship with Him.  And I have found that the joy and blessing that flows from a closer relationship with God often outweighs the suffering that I have had to endure.

Prayer:  Lord, no body enjoys times of suffering and stress.  When these times arise, help us to trust more in You so that we may experience your power and faithfulness in our lives. Amen.

Who do you turn to in a time of suffering?  Do you find you are closer to God during difficult times?

This article was written by Linda Bailey

Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.