Jesus loves you so much that there is no suffering He would withhold from you if it would draw you nearer to Himself. “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory…” (2 Corinthians 4:17 NKJV).
Successful suffering is when the Christian recognizes that suffering is a part of the journey that we all must go through. It doesn’t mean we want to suffer nor that we choose to remain in it, but only that we realize that everything is part of God’s plan.
Learn to let suffering complete its work in you before God might remove it. “After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace [who imparts His blessing and favor], who called you to His own eternal glory in Christ, will Himself complete, confirm, strengthen, and establish you [making you what you ought to be]” (1 Peter 5:10 AMP).
Successful suffering is when you can pray for your comfort or healing and give it to God with however He might answer. It’s where you don’t wonder if He hears you, and you don’t question Him on when He might help you. All you do is take it to Him and know how much He loves you.
Jesus had faith that Father could save Him from suffering. He also had faith that Father would help Him through it. Just before the Cross, Jesus prayed, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.” (Matthew 26:39 NKJV).
Successful suffering is where you ask the Lord to show you how He is trying to shape you through the suffering. Ask Him to soften your heart and open your eyes to all that He might show you. It is where you know that God would never waste all that suffering could accomplish in your life.
We think that every good thing is from God, and all suffering is of the Devil. Yet the Lord uses suffering for our gain, and the Devil uses the good pleasures of life for our demise. “For the Lord will not cast off forever. Though He causes grief, Yet He will show compassion According to the multitude of His mercies” (Lamentations 3:31-32 NKJV).
Successful suffering seeks out how you might serve Him in your suffering or after your suffering. Consider that apart from your suffering, there would be people who you could not reach. When we suffer, we can reach others who suffer in a way nobody else ever could.
Let the suffering in your life mean something. That the “…God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4 NKJV).
Before a man can change people, the Lord must change the man. The Lord said regarding His servant Paul, “For I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name’s sake” (Acts 9:16 NKJV). How few we would have in ministry if they knew in advance all they would have gone through.
Successful suffering in a saint trusts in the Lord during all that they go through. They know that the Lord loves them completely and would never forsake them even for a single moment. They believe in all that God can do no matter what God chooses to do.
Suffering either drives a person to God or away from Him. “Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator” (1 Peter 4:19 NKJV).
Successful suffering is not self-centered but is Christ-centered. When we only have self-pity, we look inward and find nothing we can hope in. But when we put our faith in God and look upward towards Him, it is there we find hope, and we find peace.
You can’t have a positive outlook with a self-centered life. “Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others” (Philippians 2:4 NKJV).
Successful suffering is patient and sure that the Lord knows what He is doing. It doesn’t question His timing nor complains about His inaction. Rather it rests in Him and trusts in all that He is doing. The Lord has a purpose and a plan in every suffering, and sometimes all we can do is trust Him.
Suffering does not reflect how God feels towards you, but it will reveal how you feel towards Him. “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him…” (Job 13:15).
Successful suffering accepts that often God’s plans don’t always align with our own. We may think we could be more useful to the kingdom if we were healed, but sometimes God can do more through a broken man or woman than somebody who seems to be whole by the world’s standards.
Never squander suffering, knowing all that God can do through it. Joseph told his brothers, “But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive” (Genesis 50:20 NKJV). Look behind the intentions of man, and you will sometimes be so blessed to find the intentions of God.
In however you are suffering, I pray that it would draw you nearer to the Lord. I pray that God would comfort you and also teach you with all that He is doing. Pray for healing as you are led but accept His answer on each day you are alive. He is planning your eternity so trust Him with the day.
Pray your suffering accomplishes His will for your life. “For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you. He is your example, and you must follow in his steps” (1 Peter 2:21 NLT).
Blessings to you,