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.
Part of our created humanness is that we form natural emotional and psychological attachments to people and things. But when lose them—such as in the death of a loved one—we experience the process of grief. The greater the loss the deeper the grief.
Our problem comes when we don't process our grief allowing proper healing from the loss to occur. We end up stuck. Some inadequate responses include not grieving at all, delayed grief, incomplete grief, and responding with bitterness.
God accepts the fact that we grieve and that it is part of the human condition. Paul commanded, “Mourn with those who mourn” (Romans 12:15). He also wrote we grieve but not in the same manner as those who do not have hope (1 Thessalonians 4:13). When we have Jesus Christ as our Saviour, we still grieve, but the nature of that grief is changed so that we grieve with the sure hope of heaven and the restoration of all things. God knows grief is normal and His answer to us is, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted” (Matthew 5:4).
Isaiah 53:3-4 describes Jesus as “A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.” In John 11:33-35 Jesus wept greatly at the death of his friend Lazarus. When John the Baptist was killed Jesus withdrew to a solitary place (Matthew 14:13). Seeing Jesus grieve shows us grief is not sin and it is OK to feel pain at loss.
When we have a different perspective on our trouble we can respond to it differently. By seeing our problems from God’s viewpoint, we gain the perspective to face trouble His way.
If you’re like me, sometimes it seems we barely keep steady on our spiritual tightrope…and then something—or someone—shakes the rope! Believe it or not, that someone shaking our rope is God. But why does He do that?
We’ve all been there—recalling an experience and each time feeling the searing ache in our heart, the churning and knotting in the pit of our stomach, or the burning anger welling up.
The Bible says, “give thanks in all circumstances…” (1 Thessalonians 5:18 NIV). But being thankful for trials doesn’t seem right and we wonder if that is what God really wants of us.
Two teens, Katelin Allert and Amy Fitzpatrick worked in the grocery store alongside Terra. They are followers of Jesus. They wanted to do something. And so they landed on a crazy God-ordained idea.
But the truth is we can't know everything. Most of the time we don't even fully know our own reasons for our actions—how can we possibly know the mind of another?
Our habit of looking back in life’s rear-view mirror can put us on a collision course. We can lose sight of God’s steadfast grip in our life.
I had never given the idea of compassion much thought until a few months ago when in the midst of a friend’s crisis, I felt gut wrenching pain and realized, for the first time, this was what true compassion felt like.