Overcoming Suffering: Bitter or Better
We are finishing up today and tomorrow with a couple of final thoughts on suffering. I hope it has been helpful to further understand why suffering exists in our world and to know what God says about how to navigate it. These last two days aren’t reasons for suffering, but rather some conclusive thoughts.
Remember that suffering either breaks our backs or bends our knees. If you think it is your job to carry the weight of suffering, it will crush you. Remaining stiff and upright in an attempt to shoulder the pain yourself is ultimately pride. Choosing to bow in humility, letting Jesus carry the load for you, will allow you to stand upright once again.
Matthew 13:24-30 reminds us that wheat and weeds will grow up in fields side by side. Interestingly, they look exactly the same until wheat sprouts what are called ears. The one other thing that sets wheat apart is that wheat bows when it reaches maturity, while weeds, or tares, stay stiff and upright.
When the storms of life come, they will either make us bitter, battered or better. If we try to lean on our own strength and understanding, we will become bitter. We will be battered to cynicism and despair.
But if we allow suffering to remind us that we are not in control and release our lives to the Lord, we will become better. Stronger. Less prideful. More able to continue through life and help others walking through similar sufferings (2 Corinthians 1:4).
Always remember. Christians worship a God on a cross. Through suffering, Jesus received a resurrection life. A glorious victory!
We, too, are promised a similar eternal victory. That’s God’s desire as well for those who love him and have been called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28).