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Hope During Suffering - Wholly Loved - November 15

Hope During Suffering

By Jessica Brodie

“In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

The other day a friend admitted she’d always gotten the impression I’d lived a charmed life, that everything had always been pleasant for me, and I’d never experienced kind of difficulty. I almost choked on my salad.

This was false. While I am blessed in so many, many ways, I am definitely no stranger to hardship.

My childhood was scarred by alcoholism and divorce. I moved so many times I’ve lost count. I was painfully shy. My family members have battled everything from sexual abuse to eating disorders to mental illness to cancer and more. Over the last couple of years, I’ve lost several extremely close family members. I’ve been divorced and remarried, and our blended family has four kids between the ages of 10-13.

And yet, I’m so thankful, feel such joy, and know I’m so blessed! In spite of my family’s struggles, we’re nearly all Christians who encourage each other in our faith walk. Each of my kids have a personal relationship with Christ as does my husband.

I’m grateful for all I experienced. The difficulties deepened me and made me who I am. Without them, I would be the mom, wife, friend or sister or daughter I am today. I probably wouldn’t have the empathy I do.

The bad things we go through aren’t easy, but they’re not supposed to be. They build character and draw me closer to God.

Life on earth wasn’t meant to be perfect. Heaven awaits.

Here are some of my favorite Scriptures for times of trial.

  • I can do all things through Him who gives me strength (Philippians 4:13).
  • Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong (1 Peter 5:10).
  • And of course, today’s verse, spoken by Jesus.

Remember—whatever you are going through, you are not alone. We’re all in this together, and as Christians, it helps when we lean on each other, and on Jesus.

Jessica Brodie is an award-winning journalist and a member of the Wholly Loved Ministryteam. She’s also an author who currently serves as the editor of the South Carolina United Methodist Advocate, the oldest newspaper in Methodism. She is the author of More Like Jesus: A Devotional Journey (2018) and editor of Stories of Racial Awakening: Narratives on Changed Hearts and Lives of South Carolina United Methodists (2018), both from her newspaper’s Advocate Press. She also writes contemporary women’s fiction, represented by Bob Hostetler of The Steve Laube Agency. Her novel The Memory Garden won the American Christian Fiction Writers’ 2018 Genesis Contest. She has a faith blog at JessicaBrodie.com.

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