I read a beautiful devotion speaking of how suffering is used to bring about God’s Holy desire to make us like Christ, perfect in our submission to God. It made me think about the various ways we can suffer. Yes suffering is meant to teach us many things. Below I offer you six ways we suffer as well as suggested learning we can glean from each.
(1) Most certainly suffering can show us the error of our ways through the negative consequences of our actions.
(2) We also suffer through no fault of our own, such as with medical conditions. Perhaps these times are to test our faith and trust in the Lord.
(3) There is suffering related to a burdened and broken heart over the pain in a loved one’s life. Perhaps this is meant to teach us something of compassion.
(4) The loss of or an unrealized dream or desire can cause us to suffer. Maybe the lesson in this case is to get us to recognize God’s dream and desires must come first.
(5) There is suffering from witnessing injustice, wickedness, and evil going on in the world around us. This lesson may be to bring us to our knees in prayer.
(6) We also suffer when we endure unkind, slanderous, or untruthful things spoken about us. Here the lesson may be of learning God’s opinion is the only one that matters.
There are many ways we suffer. Yet the key to all suffering is that we may learn to trust God and rely on Jesus more through every trial.
Jesus said in John 16:33 “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
It also says in 1 John 5:4 “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.”
It’s funny how some lessons can’t be learned without experiencing it firsthand. For me I had to go through bad relational choices, conflict at work, financial stress, family issues, and health issues before I finally realized how much God loves me, He is always with me no matter what, and He wants me to trust him.
What lessons has suffering taught you?