Suffering Shaped Christ, and It Can Shape Us — A Quote by Gary Wiens in “Bridal Intercession”

“Paul wrote in Philippians 3:10 and following, ‘That I might know Him and the power of His resurrection.’ Most of us would like the verse to end there, but the rest of it says, ‘and the fellowship of His sufferings… that we might know the power of His resurrection.’ Suffering is a reality that cannot be skipped. If we are going to look like Jesus, we are going to look like Him completely. And the Lord will allow in our lives the same kinds of experiences He has allowed in the life of His own Son.”

“And we must — if we are going to have a theology of Bridegroom love that is adequate for the world at the end of the age — we must have a theology of redemptive suffering. It is the only thing that will work. It is the only thing that will allow us to preach a glad Gospel to the real world…”
“He takes the physical and emotional and spiritual devastation that happens to His Son, and He says, ‘I am going to account that as salvation for many’… But then He comes to you and me and says, ‘Now I will take your sufferings and account them exactly the same way.'”

— Gary Wiens, “Bridal Intercession: Authority in Prayer through Intimacy with Jesus”, pp 176-177

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2 thoughts on “Suffering Shaped Christ, and It Can Shape Us — A Quote by Gary Wiens in “Bridal Intercession”

  1. Sarah

    This is probably a silly question, but what qualifies as redemptive suffering? Is it the people who go on mission trips to China and fight prejudice there? Is it the person who is scorned by his coworker for his faith? Or does the concept cover people in all types of suffering? For instance, like many, my family is undergoing serious financial turmoil with my husband and I both being unemployed and my husband newly disabled without benefits; is that redemptive suffering? Or is it just “my issue” that came up in the grand scheme of things? Also, how does Jesus’s statement that his yoke is light, come into play in all of this? Obviously Jesus had suffering, more than a little, but it is hard for me to understand the concepts of redemptive suffering and a light yoke creating a Christian life and how that would look. I know that this is probably not something that anyone can even speculate about in a simple answer, but I’d really like your thoughts on this because I think you would be able to shed some light on these things.

    I love the articles and quotes that you post! This is my favorite blog to read and I really do thank God that I stumbled on it in my internet searches.

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  2. Tim Thomas Post author

    Hi, Sarah! You ask a very good question! Sometimes I post quotes because they challenge me to think beyond where I was thinking before. I would say that from Gary Wiens’ perspective, redemptive suffering covers the entire range of suffering that we face, not just suffering for persecution, etc. And if it is true — and I think for me to completely embrace it, I would have to spend more time looking at the relevant verses, and maybe some commentaries, then I find it very encouraging. It is a tough passage of the Bible to understand, and commentators differ.

    But the fact that Jesus cares about all our suffering — that He is not aloof, but very present, and having been fully human, understanding deeply — I also find a lot of encouragement in that. I think during our hard times — kind of like what you are going through now — Jesus wants us to draw so much nearer to him, so we can receive the comfort that he is offering us.

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