Suffering well. Phhh…this is not my expertise. It’s been a ginormous growing edge for me. God has taken me on a pretty crazy journey to teach me a little bit more about suffering well. Here are some of the practical insights He has taught me during this time.
1. Grieve our Loss, Both Big and Small. Whether it’s losing a limb, a job, your temper or growing up without a mom or dad—it is vital we grieve it all. It’s how we move on. Ask the Lord to show you some of the pain you may have buried and not processed through so you can move on into deeper freedom with Christ.
2. Perspective is HUGE. Sometimes when life gets tough, the only thing we can see is the negative present pain. Yet, I’ve found that God’s grace is so abundant in our suffering. Ask God to help you see your life from His perspective, an eternal perspective that sees both the really awesome stuff and the really painful stuff in proper balance.
3. Faith in His Word. God has given us His Word of Truth in the Bible and He tells us that suffering and pain leads to good things, really good things. Things like hope, love, and a more mature complete faith--suffering is how we become more like Christ. Not only that but that He has a purpose for our lives, and it is good. So, from God’s perspective suffering and pain is actually a good thing and not something to avoid (wrap your mind around that one!). Ask God to grow your faith in His Word concerning your pain and loss.
4. Contentment, Joy, and Praise. It really can happen in the midst of loss. We can be content, joyful people who are bent on praise, but it will take a very conscious choice to be this type of person. Beloved, I am convinced of this, there is some deep freedom when we praise God through pain. I admit though, this has been a big growing edge for me...my emotions have a way of guiding me. I’m asking God to change my attitudes and to help me be a person of praise and thanksgiving in all circumstances. Won’t you?
5. Jesus is Enough. This one is BIG. Some things we loss, we may never get back. We can live aching for what we’ve lost, but I believe God desires for us to come to His Son to find He really is enough for us. I think it’s one of the main reasons He allows loss and suffering, He desires for us to come to Him in desperation for our well-being like never before. His love, forgiveness and grace are what really sustain us. Ask the Lord to help you turn to Him for inner peace and satisfaction so you may find that He is more than enough for you.