Troubles, trials, and tragedies have directly
impacted us all, and no one is immune to
the harsh realities of life or suffering.
Are you suffering on your road to
redemption and love?
There will be times when we will be misread,
misquoted, and victimized as a result of our beliefs.
According to Scripture...
testing, trial, suffering, and chastening are God's
way of purifying, cleansing, and conforming us
to the image of His Son, Jesus.
When insulted for the Name of Christ... we can
consider ourselves blessed. Those who live a godly
life in Christ will be persecuted... so don’t think
it’s strange and it’s unique to you alone.
Suffering Encourages Humility
God, in His grace, generally allows severe storms
and deep distress to teach us important lessons
about His grace. As we cry out to God for
assistance and strength, we discover that God's
grace is more than sufficient to meet our needs.
God is our utmost Supporter; He is our
Merciful Provider, our Rock, and our Comforter.
God understands that His power is made perfect
in our weakness. He understands that His grace
is more than sufficient for our needs in our
helplessness, because His strength is perfected
in our insufficiency.
Spiritual traditions from all over the world
emphasize that, while life can be difficult,
God is at work, using our circumstances to
humble us and shape us into the people He
wants us to be.
"God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks
to us in our conscience, but shouts in our pains:
it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world,"
C.S. Lewis once said.
Why are the innocent victimized?
Why must there be heartache and disappointment?
Why do the wicked prosper, while the righteous
take such a beating?
Innocent suffering is the same
as the suffering of Jesus.
What does it mean, then, to
"Share in His sufferings"?
To suffer with Jesus means to face persecution,
opposition, and hardship.
When we are in pain, we can feel completely
alone. We feel helpless and ineffective. When
we most need God, we may believe that He is
One might be curious to know how a just God
could allow such things to happen.
How does God, who loves us so much, allow
suffering to enter our homes?
We may feel that God is unfair and harsh at times,
but He is a God of Love who allows things in our
lives that are temporarily very painful in order for
His eternal purposes to be worked out.
Followers of Jesus are called to some level
of suffering. We share in His sufferings in
order that we may also share in His glory.
Sadness is a part of our journey.
As Believers, it is inevitable that at some point
we will encounter trials. No one in the entire
world is immune to the various types of pain
and suffering that can befall us in this life.
God will sometimes use a certain amount of pain
and suffering to shape, mold, and transform us.
We should trust God to take care of us because
God was able to bring about such a glorious
outcome from Jesus' suffering.
We are all troubled by our inner thoughts
How are we to respond to suffering?
What do we do, and how do we respond
when suffering strikes our family?
Is there any way we can "Learn" what to
do about suffering?
How can we help those who are suffering?
Is there purpose in pain?
Is there any escape?
Where is God in all of this suffering?
Will there ever be a way out of this confusion?
Where and when can we see the fulfillment
of our heart's desire?
Are we doomed to just suffer, and live as
These are questions that countless individuals
have wrestled with... and tried to figure out.
Acts 5:41 says that after the apostles were
flogged for preaching the Good News about
Jesus, "the apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing
because they had been counted worthy of
suffering disgrace for the Name." They were
being identified with their Savior; they were
being treated in the same manner as Jesus;
they were sharing in His suffering!
So, when people hate us because we are
identified with Jesus, when they attack and
persecute us because we bear His Name, when
we lose our jobs, families, freedom, or even
our lives for the sake of the gospel, we are
sharing in the Lord's sufferings. We are called
to this, and we should jump for joy! “We must
go through many hardships to enter the
kingdom of God,” Paul explained.
Taking up our cross daily
leads to transformation.
Suffering is part of our experience on earth.
The human experience is varied and diverse, but
few things are as inescapable as suffering. The
pains and difficulties will differ from person to
person, but we all suffer.
When everything we know is stripped away from
us and we are forced to be alone, we wonder what
truly matters. What is the point of living in the first
There is a purpose in the pain.
Suffering can be one of the ways
God works with us for our own
growth and to bring us to a better
understanding of Himself.
When people's private resources are depleted,
they are willing to turn to the "Ultimate Resource"
Perhaps this is the time to
turn to God.
Suffering in life can be a powerful jolt that helps
us become more discerning and progressive.
confront aspects of ourselves that we might
otherwise avoid. God can then use our
suffering to shape us into better people,
people who can love and enjoy Him
Romans 5:3-5; James 1:2-4
God desires to heal us and bring us
out of our state of brokenness.
With God in the forefront,
we will get through this.
Suffering prepares us to feel empathy,
emotionally connect, comfort those
in pain, understand and share another
Those who can genuinely say,
"Suffering has redeeming value,"
discovers one of the most heartwarming
reasons that suffering has redeeming
Empathy is the fruit of suffering. Empathetic
"I understand how you feel.
I've been in your shoes."
Suffering "makes room for learning and love.
Suffering serves to humble us and awaken
us from our self-sufficiency illusion.
There may be times on our journey when we
feel we can't go any further, but God wants us
to know that His strength is made perfect
in our weakness.
May we boldly place our hardships at God's feet,
knowing that God's grace and strength are made
perfect in our weakness.
This happened during Jesus' life on earth. He was
heard because of His reverent submission.
That is what it takes to faithfully take up our cross
daily! We have to cry out to God for the strength to
hold out – for the strength to say “No” and keep
saying “No” in the time of temptation. We must
humble ourselves and have the same mind that
“Not My will, but Yours, be done.”
God uses even the most painful
suffering for good.
Let us always remember and never forget:
The Cross precedes the
We believe many of the richest, fullest, and
most fruitful lives are those who have been
developed in the Divine crucible of testing
and tribulation. The severe testing either breaks
or purifies one, which is reason enough to
rejoice and count it all joy...
even as we weep.
According to James, "My brothers and sisters,
take heart when you fall into various temptations,
knowing that the testing of our faith produces
But let patience do her perfect work, so that
we will be perfect and complete,
wanting nothing." "
When we face trials and challenges, James advises
us to be perfectly content. The testing of our faith
leads to patience, and when we allow patience to
run its full course, it will lead us to strength of
character and refinement.
God's intention is for God's glory... and for
God's works to be revealed.
A person's integrity allows
them to persevere.
Integrity implies that we do not compromise
and thus do not give up. Integrity is not
something that develops overnight, but rather
through repeated tests. God sends trials to purge
us of sin and allow us to grow and mature in
When human support or material assistance
of any kind is removed, that is when God's
power can become active.
We believe that the entire universe is God's garden,
and that God wants His garden to grow, mature,
We believe the Master Gardener prunes every
branch in us, whether it's a person, place, or
thing that doesn't bear fruit... or stifles our growth
God will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous
blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of
despair. In their righteousness, they will be called great
oaks that God has planted for His own Glory.
Surviving hardship can teach us valuable lessons
about ourselves and the world around us,
strengthen our resolve, deepen our empathy,
and eventually allow us to evolve and grow as
Suffering's transformative effect suggests that
it is our greatest pain that may contain a deeper
purpose. Perhaps the function of human
compassion serves that purpose.
To summarize, regardless of why we suffer, it is
clear that love is the cure for suffering, and that
all suffering, after many detours, eventually leads
to love and God's glory being revealed in that
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