King David on The Suffering Leader
“My soul is in deep anguish. How long, Lord, how long?”
– Psalm 6:3.
The psalmists all dealt with a common human experience, which is called suffering. Suffering is pain caused by broken relationships, misunderstandings, violence, persecutions and failures – all the human predicaments that lead to mental and physical turmoil and heartache. In today’s verse, David inquired of the Lord how long his suffering was going to last. God often answered David’s questions, but God seldom if ever answers this question that you have asked, just like David did 3,000 years ago. If you knew “how long” your agony was going to last, you would do everything you could to end or avoid it. Therefore, you learn to trust God that it won’t last a day longer than it needs to. Peter gave his readers a unique perspective on suffering in his first letter:
“Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because whoever suffers in the body is done with sin. As a result, they do not live the rest of their earthly lives for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God”
– (1 Peter 4:1-2).
Have you armed yourself with the attitude of Christ, that suffering is beneficial and necessary? Do you see that your suffering sets you free from yourself so you can focus on the needs of others and do God’s will? How will this change how you think of your suffering?
Today’s reading – Psalms 6-10
John Stanko was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and attended Duquesne University where he received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in economics in 1972 and 1974 respectively.
Since then, John has served as an administrator, teacher, consultant, author, and pastor in his professional career. He holds a second master’s degree in pastoral ministries, and earned his Doctor of Ministry from Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Pittsburgh in 2011.
John founded a personal and leadership development company, called PurposeQuest, in 2001 and today travels the world to speak, consult and inspire leaders and people everywhere. From 2001-2008, he spent six months a year in Africa and still enjoys visiting and working on that continent, while teaching for Geneva College’s Masters of Organizational Leadership and the Center for Urban Biblical Ministry in his hometown of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Most recently, John founded Urban Press, a publishing service designed to tell stories of the city, from the city and to the city.