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     Many followed him [Jesus], and he healed them all and ordered them not to make him known. This was to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah: “Behold, my servant whom I have chosen, my beloved with whom my soul is well pleased. I will put my Spirit upon him, and he will proclaim justice to the Gentiles. He will not quarrel or cry aloud, nor will anyone hear his voice in the streets; a bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not quench, until he brings justice to victory; And in his name the Gentiles will hope.” Matt. 12:15-21

Dear Lord Jesus, I’m greatly moved today as I ponder your compassionate heart for the broken and suffering. Surely there’s no Savior like you: entering, not running from our chaos; taking, not despising our shame; shouldering, not ignoring our burdens. “Bruised reeds” and “smoldering wicks” love your appearing. Justice will be fully victorious because you have been the willing Sufferer.

For sure—for gloriously sure, your sufferings as our sin-bearer are over. As the Lamb of God, you offered yourself once and for all upon the cross. No additional sacrifice for our sin remains to be offered—none. I no longer fear being judged by God for my sin. Your perfect love has driven away all fear of punishment, anxiety about Judgment Day, and uncertainty about eternity. I boast and rest in your sufferings for me, Lord Jesus, and I also shout a hearty “Hallelujah!”

But I also cry out, “Help me, Lord Jesus, help me.” Help me go with you into the sufferings of friends and family, further into the groans of my own heart, and into the injustices and brokenness of my community. Like most, I have an aversion to pain and suffering. Like many, I’d love the Christian life to be an antidote for all discomfort and distress. Like all, at times I get overwhelmed and overtaxed by the sufferings of others.

Here’s my peace, my consolation, my ballast, Jesus: you’re not calling us to suffer for you but to suffer with you, and that makes all the difference in the world. We’re called into the fellowship of your sufferings, not into the isolation of our sufferings. Your tear wiping hand reaches to us and through us, until the Day you wipe every tear away and eradicate injustice, once and for all. Oh, how we long for that Day consummate peace and healing, wholeness and joy.

You’ll never lead us into hard places where you’re not present. You’ll never ask us to do anything all by ourselves. You’ll never leave us or forsake us, Jesus. You will lead justice to victory, and in your name all the nations will put their hope. So very Amen I pray, in your kind and compassionate name. Amen.

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Scotty Smith

Scotty Smith is the founding pastor of Christ Community Church in Franklin, Tennessee. You can follow him on Twitter.

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