You may have fallen off the wagon in life, have a broken heart, lost someone you love, or received some really bad news. Whatever the season of pain you're in, we know that suffering as a Christian can be excruciating, since we don't immediately know the reasons why something bad is happening.
Yet, in every season of pain, there's always a lesson to be learnt in our walk with the Lord.
What is God trying to tell you in the middle of your suffering as a Christian? Here are three things to always remember and learn from.
Suffering as a Christian - 3 Things We Can All Learn
1. You are not alone.
This isn't always easy to hear... but suffering as a Christian is to be expected. Jesus suffered himself. He also warned us that we, too, will go through periods of pain. The Bible is filled with such experiences.
However, one thing we can be assured of: no matter the season of pain, you are never truly alone. God is always with you in the midst of your troubles!
Remember in Daniel 3 when Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego refused to bow down and worship the idol that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up? For their faith, they were thrown into a giant furnace to be executed.
On the surface, all hope seemed lost. However, God was in fact with them in the fire, saving them when they needed Him the most! (Daniel 3:25)
This and other Biblical stories paint a clear picture: God repeatedly promises that He is always with you, no matter the season. In John 14, Jesus assures us he will not leave us alone. For God gives us His Holy Spirit as a comforter for every believer, giving us heavenly peace and guidance.
So, even amid your suffering as a Christian, know that you will never, ever be abandoned by our Lord. Trust God in good times and bad!
"Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you." (Hebrews 13:5)
2. Your pain has a purpose.
God uses all things — even painful experiences — for the greater good. This includes both glorifying His kingdom among people, and for your own spiritual growth too. In short, our Lord knows how to work amid our pain to make us more like Jesus.
Suffering as a Christian is never in vain. It is never 'pointless'! God sometimes allows pain to happen because, ultimately, He knows how to transform it into something truly amazing.
God does not cause all bad things to happen - but He is able to repurpose, bringing everything together in harmony for a greater blessing, according to His will.
As Christians who abide in Jesus, we can trust completely in this as we hope to come out on the other side being more Christ-like in our faith.
"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." (Romans 8:28)
"You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives." (Genesis 50:20)
3. God is preparing something new - and better - for you.
In Romans 8:18, Paul writes, "I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us."
In other words, our pain is never the end of the story! There will always be a greater hope and blessing to look forward to - even when we can't quite see it just yet.
Suffering as a Christian means we can endure the pain - because we know that God has something new and better for us, always. There is a crown of glory at the end of every season of suffering.
Remember: whether on earth or in heaven, you can rest in the fact that greater things are guaranteed to come. The pain you are going through now is but a sliver of the joyous eternity you will experience!
Take heart! No matter your season of pain, trust that suffering as a Christian is a precursor to glorious things that lie ahead.
Everything happens for a reason, and God is in full control. Surrender your hurt to Him, and have faith that He will never forsake you. Learn from this experience as you walk in Christ. Don't ever give up! ◡̈