A Few Thoughts on Godly Suffering

Why is there so much suffering in the Bible and how can we suffer well? What is it that helps us turn our complaining into godly suffering?

Why suffering bible


I have realized through my own hardships that practically EVERY person you come across is dealing with, has dealt with, or is about to deal with something very hard.

Maybe your life has been easy, maybe even great up to this point. If so, praise the Lord! My life was that way until about 27. I really hadn’t been through anything hard in my life. But in one year I got pregnant and lost my baby and my mother-in-law died of brain cancer three weeks before my next child was born.

That was a wake-up call. Any one of those things would have been.

In that season I learned:

  • There can be great fear even in a season of joy
  • That suffering is traumatic to everyone involved
  • That no one is exempt from suffering

I’m sure reading through this you have your own sad story to tell. And I’m sorry. I hate that for you. But how are you telling people your story? In a way that hopes people will feel sorry for you, or points them toward the one who redeems all things?

Ouch. I know. I’ve been there. I’ve wallowed in self-pity more times than I care to admit.

So how do we suffer better? How do we turn our complaints into “godly suffering”, where we lean in and trust deeply in the Lord?

Why suffering bible


Recently I read through the book of Job, and was reminded that no one is safe from suffering. God’s character seems out-of-character when you first read the story, but by the end you are humbled along with Job. So why does God allow suffering in the Bible?

That’s a loaded question, but what I’ve found is that God allows us to suffer sometimes because it’s only through suffering that we truly grow and learn lessons he wants to teach us in order to become more like Christ.

When I go through hard seasons, I get a better perspective on what the Bible teaches about why there’s suffering when it says:

"I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength." 

Philippians 4:11-13
"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord." 

James 1:2-7

Don’t let your hard season be wasteful. Look for the silver lining, seek what God may be teaching you. Don’t assume you have it the worst. And acknowledge those you see suffering too.

I am not discounting what you’re going through. Life is hard. You are allowed to mourn what was lost and even lament to God! There is still a lot of mystery about why there is so much suffering in the Bible. I’m simply encouraging you to not let your hardship strip you and everyone around you of the hope he promises.

“Let us hold resolutely to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to spur one another on to love and good deeds.” 

Hebrews 10:23-24

If you are going through a good season, praise the Lord! Give him thanks, and encourage those around you.

Why suffering bible


When I go through seasons of hardship, I am often overwhelmed by fear and anxiety. During one of those seasons, I created a scripture study on what the Bible says about fear, finding peace, going through trials and working on your mindset. You can grab this right now in my shop! I hope it encourages you or someone you know going through suffering.

For more posts like this, check out:

You’ve got this!

Why suffering bible


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