Feelings About Suffering

Yesterday we began to look at suffering, which is something many people are dealing with today. How do you suffer?

You may have gone through some of the methods of the world for dealing with suffering already. Have you found any of them to be helpful? Or are you walking through this suffering season with the underlying question of: “Why God, why?” How you view suffering has great bearing on your responses to it.

There are various reasons for suffering, and just as many responses to it. I would like to continue today with some of the ways we respond in thought, belief and behavior to suffering.

I distinctly remember a time in my own life when I wrote, “I am suffering under the weight of my circumstances. This doesn’t feel good. I feel like I want to quit and give up. I feel like this is too much. And yet I know it is not, that God is right here with me. I know that He is keeping me.

When I am in the depths of sorrow and discouragement I must be able to preach to myself! I must be able to draw from the well of truth that I have in Christ and His Word. When I am suffering I must know and believe that I am being kept by Him. These are the resources that I have to build up before I am in the midst of the suffering or I will have little to hold on to. Nothing in this world sure will hold me fast and steady. I have to cling to Jesus.”

I had to keep going back to 1 Cor. 10:13 and remind myself that there is a way out of trials is Jesus Christ. He is the way through the trial and the suffering. My wise husband says “God isn’t as concerned with what you go through, but how you go through it.” And I would add, Who you turn to as you go through it.

As to why we suffer… The reasons for suffering are more than I can detail here but some were are very familiar with. Sometimes it is illness, yours or someone else’s, financial hardship, loss of a loved one, and the list could go on and on.

Regardless of what the type of suffering is, it is important to understand that God is in charge of it. God is an active participant in our trials and sufferings and is orchestrating what kind of suffering we undergo.

More tomorrow…