suffering

Forged in Fire: Suffering & Christianity

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I’m not a big fan of television. I don’t have moral reasons against it, I just find it horribly boring most of the time. There are two shows that I will watch when they are on: The Walking Dead (of course) and Forged in Fire.

Forged in Fire is a contest show that awards money to the person who has forged the strongest blade. Many people view bladesmiths as an ancient career of the past but these men & women are beyond impressive with their craft! The finalists are given the task of re-creating a famous weapon from history. Each of them returns to their workshops, labors over the intricate details of their blades, and then returns to the show to have the blade tested.

Each person’s blade appears beautiful and well-crafted. The blades are tested through a series of stress tests. Each test is intense and has the power to shatter the blade and expose the blades imperfections. Every blade looks beautiful until it is under the scrutiny of pressure.

Might I suggest this is a perfect illustration of the Christian faith?

Peter, one of the leaders in the early church, describes the Christian faith this way:
You rejoice in this, even though now for a short time, if necessary, you suffer grief in various trials so that the proven character of your faith—more valuable than gold which, though perishable, is refined by fire—may result in praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 1:6-7) 

Suffering, trials, and conflict reveal the true condition of our faith. If we are not deeply rooted in the Scriptures, committed to authentic community, and living by the power of the Holy Spirit we will not be able to endure these “stress tests.”


Are you going through a trial right now? What are you learning from God as a result? Let me know by leaving a comment, I’d love to hear from you! 

The Suffering King (Devotional)

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I often write my reflections & prayers when I read Scripture. I will begin posting these short meditations in the hope that it helps you grow in your faith. I encourage you to read the passage and THEN read my reflection on it.


The Suffering King
READ: Luke 17:20-25

20 Once, on being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, “The coming of the kingdom of God is not something that can be observed, 21 nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is in your midst.”

22 Then he said to his disciples, “The time is coming when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man, but you will not see it. 23 People will tell you, ‘There he is!’ or ‘Here he is!’ Do not go running off after them. 24 For the Son of Man in his day will be like the lightning, which flashes and lights up the sky from one end to the other. 25 But first he must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation.


The Kingdom of God is vastly different than any earthly kingdom. An earthly king will often establish his rule through the use of force and enslavement. The king will overthrow another nation and subject the people to cruelty in order to force adherence to his new rule.

The kingdom of God is not like this.

Jesus explains in this passage that his Kingdom is inaugurated not through acts of violence done unto others but by acts of violence done to him – the King. In order for the Kingdom of God to come onto the earth, Jesus must first “suffer many things and be rejected by this generation.”

Father, help me have eyes to see Your true Kingdom. Let me never confuse your Kingdom with earthly power as your church has done in the past. Instead, I pray I would live out the implications of your upside down Kingdom. A Kingdom which begins with the suffering of its King on behalf of his enemies makes NO sense in the eyes of the world. In the same way, I pray that my life is counter-cultural and brings you glory. I ask this in the name of Jesus, through the power of the Holy Spirit, and to the glory of the Father. Amen!