We are compelled as Christians to persevere in life whenever we face a situation that will make us suffer; this is because Christ commanded us to do so. In the bible perseverance is among the values that Christians must have and practice all the time. Jesus Christ set a good example when He was on this earth regarding suffering as a Christian. Today so many Christians go through so many trials and suffering but the result is that they are always complaining. This is contrary to what our Lord showed us on this earth.
Jesus suffering was predicted by the prophet Isaiah in his earlier days and in Isaiah 53:3 he says ‘He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. ’ The nature of human beings is that we are always weak and tend to want to avoid suffering if we can. This however is not practical in a Christian life because just like Christ we cannot avoid suffering.
We tend to run away from all the situations surrounding suffering and forget that what was predicted about Christ by Isaiah, the prophet really came to pass later as is written in the book of mark 14:1-9. In this passage Jesus was about to be taken for crucifixion and despite of this he continues t perform His miracles and healings. In this particular passage Jesus rebukes the Pharisees that whatever the poor woman did by pouring the Alabaster oil on his head was to be remembered during the spread of the gospel after he has gone to heaven (Mark 14:8,9)
Thomas Keating in his book Foundation for centering prayer and the Christian contemplative life admonishes the Christians to always be ready to suffer just like Jesus did. He draws us to the sufferings Christ went through in his road to crucifixion. He says that this did not only affect a few people but the whole humanity. He says that since it’s a universal issue we all must carry a message of humanity for the most profound kind, remembering to pray and avoid being carried away by anger, grief and retaliatory emotions. We are all one body in Christ and we need to unite and persevere whenever there is suffering.
The example Christ gave when he underwent the trials and sufferings before his death on the cross should be very practical in a Christian life. Egan in his book John on the Cross reminds us that we should take our sufferings just as Jesus Christ persevered in is way to Crucifixion. References: Keating, T. (2007) Foundation for centering prayer and the Christian contemplative life, New York: Continuum. Laird, M. (2006) Into the silent land: A guide to the Christian practice of contemplation, Oxford University Press. The bible: New International Version