Why do we suffer, and can you truly have hope in suffering?
You and I may be tempted to think that if we live a life surrendered to Jesus’s leadership, our problems will disappear, we will receive material blessings, and the world will be drawn to Him.
Whether you are new to your faith in Christ, or are a seasoned believer, you have probably experienced enough life to realize that simply isn’t true.
The reality is that in this life on earth, each of us will experience heartache and pain. Why?
Sin has ruined everything.
When sin entered the world through Adam and Eve’s disobedience (not trusting God), along with it came death, pain, shame, sickness, violence, fear, depression, and every kind of evil. The reality of sin even affects how our bodies function. Because of sin all of creation groans (Romans 8:22).
Even when Jesus rescues us from our sin and becomes Lord of our lives, we cannot escape the suffering this troubled world often brings.
Jesus told us plainly,
“Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. . .” [emphasis added]
Thank God the truth-filled words of our Rescuer don’t end there!
Jesus goes on to say—
“But take heart, because I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
It can be difficult to “take heart” and have courage and hope in suffering, simply because as humans it can be easy to forget that God has promised to be with us in our suffering.
Taking God at His word does not mean ignoring your pain.
Yes, there may be times when all we feel is pain.
But it is important to remember that we are not alone in those feelings.
Many people throughout past generations have suffered and praised God through their pain (Heb. 11). Many in our time now worship during hardships and suffering too.
More importantly, our Savior bled and died, and even suffered momentary separation from His Eternal Father as He atoned for our sins through His death on the cross. Jesus experienced excruciating pain, too! But Jesus entrusted His pain to God, down to His very last breath (Luke 23:46).
The pain in our lives is an invitation to follow Jesus’s example.
You can deal with the heartache and pain in your life by entrusting it to God and pouring it out to Him—the One who knows you, loves you, and draws close to you.
God uses our pain and suffering, along with the trials and troubles of our lives, as an opportunity to continue conforming us into the image of His Son Jesus (Romans 8:28-29).
The enemy, on the other hand, tries to take advantage of us in our times of weakness.
He lies to us about God to keep us from worshipping (John 8:44). He questions God’s goodness, slanders God’s motives, and ignores God’s glory (2 Corinthians 4:4).
How Can You Endure Suffering? You Can Worship.
There is hope in suffering—our suffering will not always last.
As the Apostle Paul said,
“I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory about to be revealed to us” (Romans 8:18).
And even in our suffering (whether it be trouble, calamity, persecution, hunger, destitution, danger, and even the threat of death itself) overwhelming victory is ours through Jesus Christ, who loves us (Romans 8:35-37), the One who overcame the world, and death itself, and lives forever to intercede with God on our behalf (Hebrew 11:25).
Bible Verses For Hard Times
What we think about and dwell upon expands—so let’s replace the enemy’s lies with the truth of God’s Word. If you, or someone you know, is going through a struggle, read these 9 encouraging Bible verses for hard times together.
for Hard Times
Download our “Bible Verses for Hard Times,” and allow God’s Word to penetrate and minister to your heart and mind today.
Much of this content was adapted with permission from Your True Story: The 50-Day Essential Guide to Your New Life With Jesus by Susan Freese.