Sinful and Suffering

As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. ~Ephesians 2:1-3 (NIV)

What a heavy and sobering passage. If we were to end on these three verses, it would leave us in a state of great despair and hopelessness. Thankfully, we know that this isn’t the end. The passages to come will bring forth life despite our sin. However, this week, I invite you to reflect on this particular passage in an uncomfortable tension of recognizing our sin and our pain and suffering while waiting for what is to come.

We are all of a sin nature, gratifying the cravings of our sinful state and following its desires and thoughts. Sometimes we struggle with sin that just seems impossible to overcome. Sometimes we revel in sin and we don’t feel that anything is wrong with our choices…until the Holy Spirit convicts us. And sometimes we don’t even see the sin in our lives. But when we do, it can be a debilitating revelation which can lead to a myriad of responses, including but not limited to sadness, failure, and hopelessness.

Likewise, we are not alone in our sin. It is an epidemic in you and me and everyone else. Nobody escapes its presence. Sin is a tragic reality of the world we live in whether on a small scale (I’ve sinned) or large scale (the great injustice and brokenness that is happening in the world). We fight it every day on a personal level. We are affected by the sin of our families. We bring hurt to others with our sinful nature. We are collectively hurt by the unjust actions and the unexplainable tragedies in the world. Sin has a rampant and tight grasp on the whole earth like spiritual pollution. Because of this we by nature are deserving of wrath.

However, this passage identifying our sinful reality and nature is not a condemnation to us. We, ourselves cannot separate from sin on our own. Because of this, our sin actually points to our great and desperate need for a saviour: someone who is holy and pure enough to bring deliverance to us, show us grace in our failure and weep with us in our pain and suffering. Instead of living in hopelessness, we can put our hope in something and someone much greater than sin itself.

You are not alone in your struggles. You are not alone in your pain and suffering. You are not alone in your grief. You can cry out your grievances to God. This week, in your quiet time with God, consider taking an extra step by also confessing and repenting your sins to Him. It can be an uncomfortable practice, but recognition of our sins and confession is the first step to freedom, forgiveness, and healing. 

P.S. Follow along with the continuation of this selected passage with the upcoming blogs of this lenten season here.

Sarah Chen

Sarah is the Admin/Communications Coordinator or otherwise known as the person that lives in the office. Her office door is closed most of the time but it's only to trap all the heat inside. Actually she'd really love to meet all of you at Redemption, so please do come in and say 'hi!' Things she loves doing are reading books, cafe-hopping, and eating asian food. You are more than welcome to join her on any of these escapades. She also has an irrational love for cats, so if you have a cat, please contact her asap.