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Posted by: Darci Steiner on 10/30/2021

The Upside of Suffering

When Jesus preached his first recorded sermon, The Sermon on the Mount, he turned things upside down. He told the people who were listening that they were beautiful—the light of the world and salt of the earth. They were used to hearing they weren't good enough—at least not as good as the Pharisees, who always showed off. The people could never uphold the law and be as "good" as them. Jesus said he came to fulfill the law, not abolish it. He came to fulfill what we can't. We can never be good enough. Then he told the crowds, "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." Right there. He turned life upside down. He showed them, that even though they were taken advantage of by the tax collectors, and couldn't uphold all the laws, that the kingdom belonged to them—not the show off Pharisees who did things to be seen by man. The King was homeless and ate a lot of fish. He also hung out with questionable people and told a lot of stories. He wasn't like other kings. He was unteaching the people the rigidity of the law, and infusing them with love. He turned law into love changing the direction of their future—of our future. Those considered on the fringe of society were woven into where they belonged. We all suffer, but God teaches us and forms us during trials to become more like him. He gives us hope. He showed us that dying on a cross brought about healing. In this hurting world, we need to hear the upside down message of Jesus to learn about the upside of suffering.

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