The Christian attitude towards suffering
The phone beeped and the message read, “What should I do? I feel God is being unfair to me?” The sender’s name surprised me, but the source of this question was pain and despair. As Christians, we often hear, “Why did God do this to me? What did I do wrong, I have lived a good life, and yet all these troubles follow me”, familiar lines from sources often in quest of finding answers to the cause of their sufferings. We often do not have answers to an untimely demise, heartbreaks and betrayals, divorces, and life- threatening diseases that come upon us out of nowhere. A Christian’s attitude to worldly pains has a biblical tint as we see life and its troubles through the spiritual glasses, and our view is in stark contrast to that of others. What sets us apart in suffering?
We acknowledge suffering as part of Christian life: We know that our life will not be rosy as Christians. We testified to carry the yoke of Christ in our earthly life to embrace our savior and to be made partakers of his suffering (Romans 8:17, 2 Tim 3:12). We rejoice in our selection, for God chose us to suffer for him and our lives will bring glory to His name (1 Pet 2:20, 5:10) Jesus’s taught the world will betray us and crucify us for his name’s sake but to consider it all as gain.
The companionship of Christ in suffering: What makes us stand unshakable in faith is not our spiritual or emotional mettle but God’s magnetic love that hovers upon us in our difficult circumstances. We know Christ will never leave us; he is ever closer in our painful seasons than in our laughter (Psalm 34:18). We know we are the apple of his eye, and no one can harm us or steal us away from him. They can hurt our exterior body, but they guard our souls.
He is in control: (Isa43:2) There’s nothing above or below the sky that God is not in charge of. We firmly believe in the creator of time and relativity; science and medicine know every cure. He has the last word in our pain. We know he holds our hand and is beside us in our sickness and grief. Jesus said he had overcome the world and we have him by our side. (John 16:33) Like a father, who allows his child
to learn the lesson on his own, God allows us to understand the futility of human and material trust.
Hopeful Perseverance builds character during suffering: Being steadfast in the faith, unchanged when things go painfully wrong but trusting God each day and able to say that “God, not my will but yours” builds our faith and deepens our relationship with God during trials. Jesus in Gethsemane was the symbol of extreme suffering, but he persevered for the will of God to be fulfilled. Leaders like Moses were crafted during the wilderness seasons in their life, rearing cattle. Choosing to hear his voice and hopefully wait for the right time of deliverance. God does not relent until he turns our mourning into
Enduring momentary sufferings for eternal Glory: As humans, we put on magnifying glasses to view our troubles and reduce our sight when looking at the purpose behind it all. (2 Cor 4:17) As if a mother forgets her pain when she sees her newborn baby, the strength to walk with purpose on this earth is Christ alone; even when everyone walks away, and we are left alone, we have a savior who loves us unconditionally and will one day wipe our tears on the other shore. There will be no pain, no cries, but joy and gladness this soul waited this long.
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