“The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’” Matthew 25:40Colossians 1:24-29
My take on Matthew 25:40 turned upside down when I had my stroke. Before that day in 2014, I saw the “least of these” as people I could assist in some meaningful way. But my own tragedy thrust me onto the receiving side of that equation. Daily I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the many people who have eased the unexpected burdens on me and my own family. Much has been done for the King as friends, family, and acquaintances have helped us.
Paul indicates in Colossians 1:24 that our suffering may be what God is using to build up the church. The body of believers grows as we come alongside those afflicted with illnesses, loneliness, joblessness, loss of a child, financial ruin, addictions, rejection, broken marriages… the list goes on. By helping other believers, God’s glory is displayed.
When one of us suffers, we all suffer. So when we’re the ones in the eye of the storm, we can know that our problems are not just about us; they are opportunities to grow and strengthen other believers (the church) for the glory of God.
“Have you ever considered this before, that through your suffering God is strengthening the church?” (Tim Challies, 2009)