In this season of my life, I have endured a lot of pain and disappointment. Besides being arrested and placed under state supervision for over two years, I also lost my job, peace of mind and financial resources – all those things occurred before the deaths started. In February of 2020, my father-in-law died unexpectedly followed by my uncle in August. Then, in October, my grandmother died.
To suffer is to experience pain, loss or be in a constant state of mental despair. In this present time of political and social upheaval, sickness, uncertainty, disease and death – suffering has become a way of life for many of us. The presence of suffering does not equate to the absence of God. As a matter of fact, it is during times of suffering that God reveals Himself the most.
What are you suffering in this present time? Are you suffering through addiction, divorce, sorrow, unemployment, doubt or sickness? Remember, that we must pass through many troubles to enter the Kingdom of God (Acts 14:22), and after you have suffered a while, God Himself will restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast (1 Peter 5:10).
“Good people suffer many troubles, but the LORD saves them from them all.” – Psalm 34:19
Your hardships may seem unique to you, but they are not unknown to God. He knew before the death, disappointment, illness, separation and layoff what you would go through and how you would feel at this very moment. God did not allow it to cause you pain, He allowed it to call you closer to Him. As Christians, we are to rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us (Romans 5:3-5).
Do not waste your suffering, instead learn from it. Learn from the death how to appreciate life. Learn from the layoff how to find your true purpose. Learn from the divorce how to love yourself. What we learn during times of suffering, positions us to receive the glory that God is going to reveal within us.
“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” – John 1:14 NKJV
When Christ suffered and died for our sins, we received the benefit of a relationship with God. That means that our relationship with God was established through suffering. So, your suffering will produce within you resurrection, if you do not surrender to the circumstances of this present time. What you are calling suffering, loneliness and unhappiness today, you will see as God working in your life tomorrow. Praise and seek God through your afflictions, and receive His glory, so that His will may be done through you.