Everyone suffers, differently, and each views it differently. That’s why the Bible has many approaches on how to deal with Christian suffering. Christ gives us this privilege, and we should use it to our advantage. We should use the Bible as a whole in dealing with our pain because of these six truths about Christian suffering:
Christian suffering is multifaceted.
We experience suffering in different ways. We can never compare our suffering with another person. Christian suffering is so complicated we can never understand it even if we spend our entire life studying and contemplating about it.
Christian suffering could be emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual. What makes it complex is when we experience it, it comes in several types. The distress could be mental and emotional, or emotional and physical, or maybe all of them. This type of suffering often takes a toll on our spirit.
Christian suffering is a battleground.
However, we should recognize that Christian suffering is a battleground. It is our opportunity to use all our might to fight. If we fail to recognize it as a battlefield, we often succumb to spiritual depression.
We can fight off suffering in two ways: question God or praise Him. It’s normal to question God about suffering, especially if we are having a hard time dealing with it. However, this shouldn’t be our long-term reaction because of the third truth about suffering, which is next in our discussion.
Christian suffering is prolonged.
Acceptance and realization may take long. Sometimes, pain can dwell in our hearts, mind, and soul for days, weeks, months, even years. During this period, we shut ourselves from those people who want to comfort us. Most especially, we begin to curse God for the injustice of suffering.
However, we should always remember that God moves mysteriously. He allows us to suffer so that we can grow stronger and wiser. He wants us to accomplish spiritual maturity.
Christian suffering is the result of sins.
We suffer because of the wrong decisions other people, and we make in our lives. Actions went wrong, and spiteful words are the source of Christian suffering. These are different types of sins, as mentioned in the Bible.
Frequently, we blame God for allowing this suffering to happen in our lives when, in fact, it was our wrongdoings, our sins. As children of God, we must fight our insecurities, fears, anger, shame, and other negative emotions that lead us to sin against God and to other people. We must recognize that sins lurk in our doors, ready to devour us in one wrong move.
Christian suffering permits us to preach the good news.
One thing is unique in Christian suffering. This is the privilege to minister and comfort others in times of adversity. We don’t need to suffer the same degree of pain to let others know that God is compassionate. Even though He allows us to suffer, this pain is not everlasting. It will end with God’s guidance and our effort to heal our brokenness.
Christian suffering is a temporary entity in our lives and is the result of wrong decisions. The cessation of this suffering depends on our effort, while God is an ever-growing presence in our lives. He gives us strength and wisdom to overcome this suffering.