I’m sure you’ve thought to yourself during a difficult time, ‘ Why is this happening? Does God not love me, to be making me walk through this trial?’ Let me encourage you that your suffering is not for nothing. The Lord has purposes in your pain that you may not understand now, but will later. He is doing something with this trial. The other day I was reading Romans 8, and it was so comforting to my soul.
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it is written,
“For your sake we are being killed all the day long;
we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
We have the promise that nothing can separate us from the love of God. If we are a child of God, then we are safely secure in His grace, not because of our own goodness, but because we are in Christ. Nothing can ever come between us and God because we have placed our faith in Him. Rest in this truth, friend, and take comfort from the love of God for you in Christ.
It is not only outside these sufferings that we are more than conquerors, but in them. If you are walking through a trial right now, you can be assured that you can be victorious in it. Not only a conqueror, but more than a conqueror. Suffering is not easy, but I have found that it is in the suffering that I am drawn closer to the Lord, because I have nowhere else to turn. It is not as often in the happy, easy times that I grow spiritually, but in the difficult times. I have found in every trial that God has proved Himself faithful. Every time I have walked through the valley I have found that He is still there, holding me fast.
And how are we more than conquerors? Through Him who loved us. It is not by gritting our teeth and muscling through it, or escaping into something more pleasurable to avoid the pain. It is by relying upon the grace of God to help us. How can we do that? Here are some thoughts.
- Stay in the Word. Even if all you can read is a psalm, this is crucial. You will be tempted to believe lies about God during a difficult time, so fill your mind with God’s promises. You can even listen to the Word if reading is difficult.
- Surround yourself with strong believers who can support you in prayer and remind you of truth when you are feeling weak. Go to church, even if you don’t feel like it. It will be worth it, and people love you and want to care for you, even if you don’t think they do.
- Pray. This will likely be really difficult when you are in pain, but God already knows your heart. Pour out your soul to Him, even if there are no words, only cries. He hears, and He will comfort you with His presence and peace (Rom 8:26-27).
- Do something for someone else. Think of who you can encourage and bless. This will help you not to get stuck in self-pity and depression, and will bring joy to see how God can use your pain to help others.
“And I’ve come to see that it’s through the deepest suffering that God has taught me the deepest lessons. And if we’ll trust Him for it, we can come through to the unshakable assurance that He’s in charge. He has a loving purpose. And He can transform something terrible into something wonderful. Suffering is never for nothing.”
― Elisabeth Elliot, Suffering Is Never for Nothing