To honour the Spring season, our message series, RENEWED, has us thinking about the process of life and faith being continually renewed. Nathan Sands struck a chord this week as he allowed us identify the downswing in our growth — suffering.

Although [Jesus] was a Son, he learned obedience through what he suffered…
— Hebrews 5

When your eyes are open to the world, suffering becomes more real. We’d like to believe that the Christian life means we get to leave suffering behind, but that isn’t reality. Suffering is actually a major biblical theme — from Egypt to exile to Roman persecution. Suffering often defines our community, as we carry God’s message of hope into a world of suffering.

Nathan reminds us that renewal doesn’t come without the downswing before it, that struggle is part of growth and that God often meets us in the place of suffering.

In one way this helps us re-interpret our dark days of suffering, but it also calls us back to reality when we’re high on life and expect the same from everyone around us.

Watch Nathan’s take on renewal and the downswing we prefer to ignore.