Understanding Our Suffering

Updated: May 9

“I have said these things to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”” John 16:33 ESV

We must be willing to see that our suffering is both a blessing, as well as the path to glory. Not glory for our name sake, but to give God glory both through and after our suffering.

If our Christian life does not involve suffering, it is doubtful we are actually saved. Any genuine born-again believer will eventually have to endure the trial of suffering. Whether it’s our health, loss of loved ones, disease in our friends or family, financial crisis, or being mocked and scoffed for our faith, we will eventually be faced with some sort of suffering. Each suffering will bring us to a decision. Will we choose to truly suffer for the Lord’s will? Or will we allow our suffering to overthrow and destroy both us and the blessing that was to come through our suffering? We must be willing to see that our suffering is both a blessing, as well as the path to glory. Not glory for our name sake, but to give God glory both through and after our suffering.

The reason we become angry, distressed or anxious by our suffering is because we are not focused solely upon God. When we suffer from something external, it reveals that we still have yet to detach from it, fully, and cling solely to God.

Every suffering is a blessing. The reason we become angry, distressed or anxious by our suffering is because we are not focused solely upon God. When we suffer from something external, it reveals that we still have yet to detach from it, fully, and cling solely to God. For if we were completely free of that very thing (whether that be money, business, people, careers, etc.), it would not affect us once it is gone. For we would be as Job and understand that what the Lord gives, the Lord takes; blessed be the name of the Lord (Job 1:21).

It must be seen that suffering in this life is always a blessing, for nothing comes into our life that God does not permit for a Divine reason and purpose.

It must be seen that suffering in this life is always a blessing, for nothing comes into our life that God does not permit for a Divine reason and purpose. Those who are unmoved or unshaken by a sudden collapse within our physical realm, are those who have learned to see the blessedness of suffering and its intent. They are those who have fully given themselves to God and have set their eyes upon eternity.

We as humans may believe we know what is good for us, but we lack an Omniscient Mind.

External things are forever passing away. Only that which is internal will last - that being our soul, our faith and our trust in the Lord. Therefore, true peace lies in Christ alone. Perfect and pure consolation solely comes from Him. If we will simply deny ourselves, we will deny what is ultimately bad. For there is nothing in man but wickedness and weakness. We as humans may believe we know what is good for us, but we lack an Omniscient Mind. The more we seek God to aid in the denial of self, the easier it shall be to carry our cross for Him.

Our cross can be turned into a joyful experience if we recognize that it is at The Cross where the Lord’s will can be found. We can be as Paul and “rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us” (Romans 5:3-5 ESV).

God is with us through our suffering. He goes before us and desires to help us, if we will turn to Him.

Suffering is not only a blessing, however, but also the way to glory. So it was with Christ. So it will be with us. We must recognize that all suffering is allowed by God to lead us closer into His Divine Love. Suffering helps us to see that this life is but a vapor (James 4:14). In recognizing how fleeting the world is, we turn to the inner life. It is here where the Holy Spirit desires to comfort and direct us. Just as a friend would be by us if we were suffering for his sake, so God is to those who suffer for His will. We must know that God is Omnipresent, and He is with us through our suffering. He goes before us and desires to help us, if we will turn to Him.

The greater the grief, the greater the glory.

We can believe that the greater the grief, the greater the glory. Those who are born-again are promised that sorrow shall lead to joy. God will restore what has been lost for His Divine purposes. We must simply submit and surrender our reasoning and senses, and dive into the ocean of His peace, joy, grace and mercy. We must meditate upon the reality that God has protected us from many other sufferings without our knowing. We must recognize that so long as He has brought us to it, He desires to bring us through it, in order that we may grow in virtue, character and maturity in our Lord Jesus Christ.

Scripture promises us in 1 Peter 5:10 (ESV): “And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, Who has called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.” Let us therefore rise up, not in our own strength, but in the power of the Holy Spirit. Let us be renewed with the truth that God is for us and not against us. Let us as brothers in Christ “Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2 ESV). To Christ be the glory, now and forevermore, Amen.

PRAYER

Heavenly Father, You are the Providential and Sovereign Lord over all. Lord, You are the God that allows all things to work together according to Your will and for Your glory. Lord, we know that as born-again believers, You love us. For those who don’t know You, You are calling them into Your Love. You know our struggles and burdens. Heal us, O Lord. Give us the strength to detach from the external things in this life. May we desire nothing but to grow in Your Love. By Your Grace, we ask for Your strength to get through our current suffering. Reveal Your faithfulness, O God, for You cannot lie. Touch us with supernatural peace and consolation. We put our trust in You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Lance VanTine

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