How do you find meaning, purpose, and hope when things don’t turn out like you’d envisioned—when God’s plan is so very hard and nothing like you thought it would be? What do you do to press on?
“Man is born for trouble, / As sparks fly upward.” Who offered this insight? A philosopher in an ivory tower or a monk in cloistered monastery? No. These words dripped with pain from the pen of a flesh and blood sufferer. These words came from the pen of Job.
I plead with you to stop reading, close your eyes for 60 seconds, and identify with that good man who was crushed beneath the weight of adversity.
Often we can’t control difficult circumstances but there are ways to change our perspective and responses, which can help transform suffering into something positive. Here are some perspectives to help transform suffering.
True wisdom requires us to read God’s Word with the goal of practical application, not merely intellectual stimulation.
Picture someone who walks in integrity, loves God, and treats others with kindness and grace and mercy…and then, suddenly, loses everything. How could this happen? And could it happen to you? Who knows? The experience may be just around the corner.
Right about now, I’m shaking my head. How could anyone handle such a series of grief-laden ordeals so calmly? Think of the aftermath: bankruptcy, pain, 10 fresh graves...the loneliness of those empty rooms.
For most of my life God has been teaching me to release my grip on everything I hold tightly. It’s a process that began when I was 13.
We all agree—life is difficult. Without warning, tragedy strikes and cuts our legs out from under us. It’s bad enough when such pain comes as the result of our wrongdoing. But how do we bear the pain of unjust suffering?