You and I experience pain and suffering because of the sin that rules this world. When Eve ate of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, God told her “I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children” (Genesis 3:16). Ever since the first sin, man has died in pain and fallen short of the glory of God, and in pain, we are brought forth into the world, because of our sin. That is not the end of the story, “For Christ suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit” (1 Peter 3:18). Christ came to put an end to all of the sufferings we experience and to undo all of the agonies we face.
There are definitely some tough things us American kids can go through, but even the Christians who are killed for their faith, couldn’t compare their suffering to that of Jesus’ on the cross. In his book “The Reason for God” Timothy Keller describes God’s suffering as the loss of an infinitely more intimate relationship than you and I have ever experienced. Jesus had been utterly abandoned, the true lamb without blemish, left to take on all the sins of the world, so that he could one day destroy evil without having to destroy us with it. As a sinner, we cannot bear the sins of the world on our own, and as Christians, we know that Jesus has already suffered the wrath of God so that we don’t have to.
So, what are you anxious about? Paul would argue that “to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21). That is, the Apostle Paul had such great faith that the Lord’s suffering was sufficient, that he decided that if he was to live, then he would rejoice in his role in the advancement of the kingdom of God, and if he was to die, then he would depart from his present sufferings and be with Christ. He knew he was in a win-win situation and he could cast all of the anxieties in his troubled life onto God. Do the same, and let God bear your burdens with the knowledge that he is enough, God is enough.