21 "For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in His steps."
1 Peter 2:21 (ESV)
This generation has a habit of believing that following Christ rightly means that you will not encounter pain, adversity, trials, sadness or loss.
Athlete, that’s just not true.
Jesus was overcome by grief in the garden when He prayed about the suffering, death and separation He was facing. He asked for it to be taken away from Him, yet submitted to the Father's will. God’s will was for Jesus to die for you and me, for Jesus to suffer.
Athlete, get this: He committed no sin but He still suffered.
We all know that we have the ability to cause our own suffering when we sin. But here is the point I want you to remember: Even apart from sin, we will still suffer. Even if you are following Christ rightly, you will encounter pain, adversity, trials, sadness and loss. Christ’s suffering on the cross brought salvation to the world. You can be sure that your suffering will be used for good and for the glory of God, even if it’s hard to understand how.
Athlete, keep walking. Keep communing with God. Keep training. Keep digging deeper. Keep working hard in each area of your life. But know that when suffering comes, your Savior experienced it too. When you suffer, you become more like Him. Don’t run from suffering — press in and find God in the midst of it.
Reflection: Do you believe that your suffering can be used for good and for the glory of God? Why or why not? How does it feel to know that Jesus can relate?