The natural inclination of nearly all humans is to avoid suffering. We basically will rearrange our entire lives so that we can avoid suffering—especially in the lavish wealth and comfort provided to us in America. Our primitive selves see suffering as a threat to our survival. But really, comfort, not suffering, is what's causing us to crumble and melt like snowflakes. The right kinds of suffering, though, make us tough as nails—physically and spiritually. The right kinds of suffering can save us all. When you were growing up, did you ever dream of being a whispy, fragile human? Or did you want to be the John Wayne, John James, Rambo kind of guy with strength and resolve and character? I had a lot of crappy jobs growing up, and one in particular was the absolute worst but also the absolute best one for me to develop into a man. It wasn't the cush I had at the baseball shop when I was 12 years old, though that was a great job.
It wasn't when I pushed a lawn mower for miles across my neighborhood.
The worst best job I ever had began with getting up before the sun and getting dropped off by my dad at a warehouse with Gatorade and sandwiches. "See you at the end of the day, son." The warehouse was just filled with piles of trash and bits of steel and wood and dust, and my job was to clean it up. Just me with my gloves and a broom. I'd take off the goggles and mask and my skin had turned a different color by the end of the day. It was absolutely crap work, but I did it for years. It was suffering. It was uncomfortable. I did not like doing it. Every broom push was a bit of misery, but that's what I grew up with. I didn't realize it then, but I was learning how to work. How to work long hours. How to work very, very hard. I was learning how to suffer. Eventually this bled over into a lot of other things, including special operations. The suffering did something incredibly important for me.
To put that in Biblical terms from Romans 5: the suffering produced perseverance. The perseverance produced character. The character produced hope.
The world right now is dying from lack of character and thus from a lack of any true hope because people seem to be putting their hope in the comfort provided through wokeness. This false comfort that keeps me from being offended or experiencing pain is actually destroying people. It's causing them to shrivel up.
Similar to the way muscles and the human brain will shrink and weaken because of lack of exercise, the human soul and character and hope will atrophy from lack of resistance. The woke mob is becoming a herd of diseased humans, kind of like deer have developed the contagious muscle-wasting disease that afflicts the entire lot of them.
Suffering Saves Us From Ourselves
Having everything we think we want turns us into people we'd never want to be around.
Sadly, though, there's a fork in the road right now and a lot of people are going down the dangerous ideological path that basically affirms deadly self-involvement. So many of us are being allowed to deny reality essentially so that bureaucrats can win votes and elections and stay in power.
Reality though is not going anywhere, and as much as we think we are able to bend reality, reality will never break. Reality will break us—unless we've developed the malleability that only comes through the right kinds of suffering.
The folks who are on the right path have a different kind of character and a different kind of ethic. They've walked through fires of suffering and have learned to deal with it. When they see a problem, they're ready to personally make it right--not just whine that someone else should do it.
Suffering Saves Us Ultimately
This is what Romans 5 is talking about. Ultimate hope comes through suffering. How does God save us? Through suffering.
The Bible tells us that Jesus suffered for us and died in our place to literally save the world. This is ultimate suffering that saves us from ultimate suffering. The punishment kind of suffering.
But it doesn't mean that Jesus saved us from ALL suffering. What it means is that God ensured that the suffering we experience has a good, strengthening quality to it. Jesus suffered so that our suffering would have a purpose and ultimately a good result.
Now when we suffer, we grow, because Jesus conquered the futility of life.
Cold Showers Are A Really Good Thing
Now I'm in a very different season of life. I'm getting softer and that sucks and so I'll jump in a freezing cold shower, because I hate myself all of a sudden. And I'm saying this halfway in jest. But I'm also not kidding.
Maybe our whole country should take a cold shower and wake up because we're being allowed to think in strange ways. We're being allowed to avoid the natural consequences of reality. It's like we have an overbearing, codelling parent covering us in padding and cleaning up all of our messes.
There's a cocktail mix of what's going on. It's brainwashing and ideological warfare. It's cultural denigration. It's moral relativity. It's Godless. And we are just decaying as a society and as individuals. But one huge missing ingredient is, I think that we are eliminating necessary parts of suffering.
Suffering is your friend. And I thank God for the earlier suffering that I've had in life. It's made me who I am and God forbid that I shirk every amount of suffering that may come my way because I know I'm still on a growth journey. And I know I'm meant to go through certain sufferings so that I'd be made better and I'd be a better resource for those around me, for the world in general.
Train Hard. Train Smart. Don't Let Them Make You Weak.