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Suffering and Hope

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Reflect

Suffering is a part of the human experience on this planet. As much as we try to avoid pain and suffering, it seems to find us. That being said, I tend to live my life as if I should be pain-free, and whenever I encounter hardship I complain. What would it look like to follow Romans 5:3-4 and boast in my sufferings, rather than complain about them?

 

As I reflect on my past, and the suffering I faced, I recognize that God was with me during those difficult times. I realize that my character changed as I endured suffering; I am a more mature, compassionate and patient person, and I have more hope. It is now easier to rise above the things that once tripped me up and laid me flat—conflict, rejection, shame—these things are nothing compared to the love I feel from God. 


Suffering is a part of the human experience. Even when we can't see the silver lining, suffering still has meaning. Jesus suffering on the cross was significant, (even without the resurrection.) It is through that suffering that we see that God is in solidarity with us, even in our suffering, and that should bring us hope, that God's love meets us even in times of suffering.

 

Respond

Reflect on a time when you experienced suffering. Ask God to help you make meaning from your suffering.


Here are a few questions for reflection or journaling:

  • What did you experience?

  • What was significant about it?

  • What did you learn about yourself?

  • How did you experience God's love amidst the suffering?

  • How did you endure?

  • How has your character developed and hope grown since then?


 

Rest

God my Refuge, as I look back on the troubles I have endured, I can see your grace woven through my life. I am grateful that you can redeem all things, even my pain and heartache.  For that which has been healed, thank you.  For wounds that are still open and hurting, I pray for your mercy, O God. Amen.



About the Author


Julia Styles is an ordained reverend with the Federation of Christian Ministries and a Spiritual Director and Leadership Coach. Reflection on our suffering and obstacles can often lead to breakthrough, sign up for a free consultation today to discover how your past hurt can be transformed into tomorrow's hope.

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