“But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.” Isaiah 53:5 (ESV)
The Apple dictionary defines conviction by: “The quality of showing that one is firmly convinced of what one believes or says.”
Isaiah 53:5 clearly teaches that Christ’s sacrifice on the cross heals our wounds. Christ’s pain heals our pain. Christ perfect blood heals our poisoned blood. Christ’s weakness gives us our strength. Christ’s surrendering to the Father allows us to surrender to the Father. Christ having learned obedience through suffering opens a way for us to learn obedience through suffering (Hebrews 5:8). Suffering is part and parcel of the Christian life.
Godly suffering breeds conviction. One may ask, “Are these deeper convictions even necessary? Can’t I just live my Christian life where I am at? After all I already believe in Christ, the Bible, and in God’s redemptive power.” It is one thing for someone to go to great length describing the taste and texture of honey, but unless I experience and taste honey myself I will never truly be able to say, “I have eaten and experienced the sweetness and the overwhelming smooth texture of honey.” I must as the Apostle Paul stated, fill up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions (Colossians 1:24).
Those who have never truly mourned have never truly laughed. Why is this? Are Christians a bunch of masochists who love to suffer? No, we certainly do not want to suffer, but we know we must. Suffering for the Christian brings healing to our souls and what could be more important than that? The redemption of Christ through his beatings and torture brings eternal healing to our souls. We believe this is true. Our convictions grow deeper as we suffer as Christ suffered. “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted (Matthew 5:5).”
The more we fill up what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ, the greater the healing of our hearts. We are all born with empty and fatally bruised hearts until Christ comes and heals us. Together with Paul’s conversion came the words from Christ: “I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name (Acts 7:16).”
The Apostle Paul died a healed man. Remember the words of James 1:2-4 (NLT), “Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.”
What you lack in life is not more money, better health, a better spouse, or a better city, but rather suffering that buries the convictions of Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection deep within the recesses of your soul to the point where you can say, “It is well with my soul.”
Pastor Jared Cox