No one looks forward to suffering and when the disciples asked Jesus what the end times would look like, I am pretty sure they went into some sort of denial for His answer was far from their expectations as possible.
For those of us who have suffered and have had the opportunity of passing through and have changed as a result of it – our story of hope is an amazing story to tell. My story was physical, tangible and literal.
I have read Howard Thurman’s quotes on suffering and they are quite impactful. He has studied how suffering has changed people. This one quote –
“Into their faces come a subtle radiance and a settled serenity; into their relationships a vital generosity that opens the sealed doors of the heart in all who are encountered along the way.”
— would reflect the thoughts of Jesus as He answered and tried to give statements of hope in the midst of all the angst.
“Beware that you are not led astray; for many will come in my name and say, “I am he!’ and, “The time is near!’ Do not go after them. “When you hear of wars and insurrections, do not be terrified; for these things must take place first, but the end will not follow immediately.” Then he said to them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and plagues; and there will be dreadful portents and great signs from heaven. “But before all this occurs, they will arrest you and persecute you; they will hand you over to synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors because of my name. This will give you an opportunity to testify. So make up your minds not to prepare your defense in advance; for I will give you words and a wisdom that none of your opponents will be able to withstand or contradict. You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, by relatives and friends; and they will put some of you to death. You will be hated by all because of my name. But not a hair of your head will perish. 19 By your endurance you will gain your souls. – Luke 21:8-19