The fact that we can see a purpose in our pain does not make the experience any less painful and it in no way undermines our suffering. Instead, a purposeful outlook on suffering says; the will of God for me remains good even when my reality does not look good. A purposeful outlook on suffering prizes the eternal promise of glory over our 'light' and 'momentary' afflictions.
We heal better in community. Who you have around you during your period of suffering can either help you to suffer 'well', or to despair.
Your response to suffering should be to offer a sacrifice of praise. Yes, a sacrifice, because you may not be in the usual ‘place of worship’. You may not have a band, altar, lights or the common ‘atmosphere’ for worship. You may not feel like worshipping. This worship will cost you something. This worship will cause you to surrender your idea of what healing should look like. This worship is the start of your healing.
Pray at all times, in every circumstance. Pray for the things that you can see. Pray for the things that you cannot see. Bring the known and the unknown before the God who is all-knowing.
'First comes the fire and then comes the gold. I am being refined and not burnt. I will not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God. I am fully persuaded that God has the power to do what He has promised'. I trust Him and I command my feelings to align with the truth of His word'.
Sometimes we hold-back on sharing our hearts with God out of fear that God won’t be able to handle it. But I assure you, that nothing takes God by surprise. Nothing is too big for God to handle. Rather, sincerity of heart and brokenness is what He desires, far above the facade of strength that we often try to put up. So how do we suffer ‘well’ when we are in the valley?
To 'dare', is 'to have the courage to contend against’. I dared to contend against the NHS report concerning my diagnosis. I dared to contend against what I could see with my physical eyes which was near-death. I dared to contend against my doubts. I dared to believe that God had already healed me. I put my personal trust and confidence in Him and let go of the trust and confidence that I had in myself or other humans. And now I dare you to do the same!
I have no doubt that the most common question that we ask God when we encounter suffering is; ‘God, why is this happening to me?’ I know this because it was the same question that I asked God when I received my diagnosis of this rare serious illness. God’s response to me was, ‘Why not you?’
We are told to reject suffering and pain, but what do you do when you are confronted with suffering through sudden illness, loss, abandonment, heartbreak and more? This devotional draws you into the journey of suffering, healing and finding beauty in the beast of pain. We ultimately learn how to suffer 'well' through the counsel of Scripture and develop a renewed faith in the power of prayer.
He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what he has done and be amazed. They will put their trust in the Lord.