Pain hurts. It hurts big time. And when you’re going through a storm in life, when it pains it roars. And we suffer. We go through sufferings. And to be honest, it is hard to do so. It is hard to suffer. We don’t like suffering.
And many times, when we suffer, we want words of consolation. We want words of hope that we can make it through this storm. We want words of hope that there is a light at the end of this tunnel and it’s not a train.
And so, the first thing I do when things are tough, is I turn to the Bible. There are words of comfort in there, right? There are words telling us that all will be okay, right?
And so I read from the Bible, and this is what I find:
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds” James 1:2
“We know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” Romans 5:3
“For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.” 1 Peter 3:17
But that’s not what I want to hear! I don’t want to hear that it is a good thing to suffer! I don’t want to hear that we live through the suffering, that it will happen. Look at the book of James. He says “whenever you face trials.” This implies you will face trials. Not fair. Not fair at all. Not cool, God. Not cool.
But there is an art to suffering. There is an art to going through the problems in life. To be honest, we have options when we go through times of suffering and pain. We have an option in how we will handle it. Will we come through it stronger, like gold or silver purified by fire or will we let it control us, take over us, and destroy us?
When troubles and afflictions happen, we struggle. We want to curse God and die sometimes. We want to shake our fist in the air at God and yell and scream at him. And we ask the question “why?” Why God? Why is this happening? Why am I going through this?
There is a what behind the why. And God knows the what. It could because of our own foolish choices. It could be because of someone else’s foolish choices. It could be because, yes, there are spiritual attacks going on. But there’s a what behind the why.
Here’s the thing, when going through issues, we don’t need to understand the why to trust God in the what.
There’s also a how. The how is how God is going to walk us through this. How God is going to guide us through. By the power of His Holy Spirit, He will guide us through. Though that we walk through the darkest valley, through the valley of the shadow of death, He is there for us. He is with us. We are never alone.
So, in the art of suffering, there is a trust. A hope. A knowledge that we are not alone.
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
In our suffering, God is the God of comfort. And he comforts us in our sufferings. He helps us be able to comfort one another in the midst of suffering. Some might say misery loves company? No. Suffering needs company. You need others who are going through what you’re going through or have gone through it already. And God comforts us through that.
“For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.” 2 Corinthians 1:5
We have a savior who has suffered. And we share in that suffering. And as we share in that suffering, so we share in the comfort that He gives.
The art to suffering is trusting in that comfort. You may not feel it at the time, you may not see it at that time, you may be feeling like you are holding on to a rope that is about to let go. Let it go and fall into the arms of the Father and his comfort which overflows because Jesus suffered and knows what it’s like to suffer as you do.
We will at one point or time experience suffering. we will at one point or time experience pain, hurt, betrayal, and suffering. You can choose to be refined by it or you can choose to let it destroy you. You can choose to find comfort in the midst of the suffering or you can let it overcome you.
What will you choose? There is an art to suffering. Live it. And find comfort in the midst of it.