January 10: Suffering

Suffering is not limited to our age or marital status. There is unmarried suffering and married suffering; childless suffering and suffering with children; old age suffering and young suffering; wealthy suffering and poor suffering; friendless suffering and suffering in the midst of community; educated suffering and illiterate suffering; healthy suffering and sick suffering.

In other words, we cannot escape suffering by moving to a new place or getting a new job. God apportions our lot to us and He does so wisely. He is changing us into the image of His Son, and suffering is one of the means He uses to shape and mold us. We sometimes think if only we were married, then we would be free from suffering. Or if only we had a child, then we would be happy. But the world is full of trouble and suffering, as the sparks fly upward. There is no place to run but to Christ.

He transforms our suffering into gratitude and patience. He gives us a cheerful, gracious longsuffering spirit. Remember, in fact, longsuffering is a fruit of the Spirit. He is with us in the midst of all kinds of suffering, and He gives us fruit and blessing in it when we look to Him.

Cast all your cares on Him. Don’t cast sidelong glances at those whom you think have no suffering in their lives. Look up, don’t look around. Look up, don’t look in. Long ago I learned from an older woman that if we look in, we will only be discouraged; if we look around, we will only be distracted. But if we look up, we will have faith.

Romans 8:18: “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”

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6 thoughts on “January 10: Suffering

  1. Yes! Thank you! I am so grateful to open up your blog this week and have these encouragements/exhortations/reminders of truth. I don’t even care how long you guys are able to keep at it this year — just very thankful for these first days of the year to have a sort of spiritual kick to the bootie that is so good.

  2. Once when I was suffering, I prayed that God would feed me in His word and I discovered Psalm 34. It’s like getting a hug from Christ. And while you’re at it, jump over to Psalm 37!

  3. This is the first of your devotionals I’ve gotten to read (but I do plan to look at the others, too!) I’m really glad that you’re doing this new thing-there were many times through the past year or so, that I would check Femina hoping to find a new post, because they’re always so encouraging and/or challenging to me. This one is the challenging category, but a great reminder and gives me food for thought. We’re facing possible changes in our lives (moving out of state, new job/church,friends) and it’s so easy to find myself hoping that I don’t suffer like previously in a new situation…I needed the reminder that life will bring suffering; although possibly a different type. The grass is not greener.

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