3 Ways to Rejoice in the Midst of Suffering
- Tuesday, February 25, 2014
The Bible is full of wisdom and truth, but do you ever come across a verse that is frankly, a bit hard to embrace? Like Romans 5:3, “More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance…” When we are suffering, typically the last thing we want to do is rejoice and we often wonder if it’s even possible to do! Even though there are some things in the Bible that seem impossible, we are reminded in the very same book that with God, ALL things are possible (Matthew 19:26).
I personally love the fact that all things are possible with God, but sometimes am not too fond of the fact that nowhere in the Bible does it say things will be easy. Let’s face it, when you are suffering, not much seems to come easy. I’ve recently been struggling with a bit of suffering in my life and I took some time to seek God about what I can learn from this season and how I can grow through it. Whether you are going through physical or emotional suffering, these can apply to you too.
When You Are Suffering, You Become More Aware of God’s Strength in Your Life
At the time of writing this, I’m currently dealing with all day sickness, every day for weeks. Thankfully I haven’t been diagnosed with a life threatening disease - I’m pregnant and have a severe case of morning sickness. I’ve been nauseous, often unable to hold food down for more than a month now and this will likely be the case for another few weeks. When I feel sick and run down every day, it really has a tendency to zap my strength, especially when I’m trying to fulfill other responsibilities in my life at the same time.
I noticed that during this time, I’ve felt my weakest. There is honestly no way I could get out of bed every day without the power of God’s strength working in me. I’m typically a person who is strong for others and who can push my way past whatever is going on in my life, but often that is done in my own strength. This season of suffering has left me without my own strength to act in, and I am much more aware of the strength of God in my life. It is very humbling.
Paul knew this feeling too. “For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:10). Paul realized that when he was so physically weak that he could barely stand to be alive, that is when God’s strength rose up the most in him. He knew that God’s strength in us is so much more powerful than our own human strength, therefore he learned to be content in his weakness of suffering! I’m still working on the contentment here, but I can feel that God is bringing me closer.
When You Are Suffering, Your Trust in God and Your Faith Increases
When you are at the end of yourself, you learn to trust God more because frankly, what else are you going to do? You’re at the end of you, and that’s where you find that God is so faithful in your life and with his promises. “Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5). I love the second part of this verse about not depending on our own understanding because the majority of the time, we don’t understand why we are suffering. We can ask God “why?” all day long, but he’s not obligated to answer us because he is building our trust in him. So instead of leaning on our own understanding and demanding to know why, we are simply to trust him to teach us and help us grow through whatever situation we may be facing.
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