Why is there so much suffering in the Bible and how can we have a suffering that produces endurance, character and hope?
WE ALL GO THROUGH SUFFERING
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?
HOW CAN WE EXPERIENCE “GODLY SUFFERING” THAT PRODUCES ENDURANCE?
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?
Here are two reasons I see:
- For punishment (the Israelites, King Nebuchadnezzar, Jonah)
- Because we’re human and it’s part of life (Noah, Daniel, Ruth)
In my own personal experince, 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.
"We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope." Romans 5:3-4
This verse teaches us that 3 areas of growth can come out of our suffering if we allow them to.
Who in your life has gone through something hard that you look up to? How did they persevere and stay focused on not giving up? Those people are the ones who took the challenge before them and decided they wouldn’t roll over and quit. Stay focused friend. One step at a time is all he is asking you to take.
What lessons in your life changed you into the kind of person you are today? How did you grow from highschool to college? Did you gain confidence? Learn to treat others with kindness? What did you learn when your kids finally made it out of the toddler years? How did you grow as a mother with your second child? Look for ways you can grow in your season of struggle or suffering.
Your suffering doesn’t have to be without purpose. That’s the only way I kept persevering with my own fight against Late Stage Lyme Disease. I knew that if I relied on God and made something good come out of this trial, that I could find purpose in my pain.
“Let us hold resolutely to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful." Hebrews 10:23
Don’t let your hard season be wasteful. Look for the silver lining, seek what God may be teaching you. Let him help you turn that suffering into one that produces endurance, character and hope!
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE…
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:
- Your Story is Worth Sharing
- Looking for the Silver Lining During Difficult Times
- My Favorite Contemporary Christian Music in a Free Playlist!
- Choosing Faith Over Your Fear
- How I Went From Survival Mode to Intentional Living
You’ve got this!
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