When the trials of life are making us weary, we can still find God’s mercy in our pain and suffering.

Kristen Wetherell reminds us that in the midst of carrying heavy burdens, we need to cling onto the promises of God.

“Going back to God’s Word in scripture is so vital because it’s our lifeline; it’s where we hear from God and where He speaks to us about what’s true. I’ve found in those days when the burden of chronic pain, Lyme disease in my case, feels too much to bear, or just discouraging and overwhelming, I have to be in the Word and I have to be drawing life from the giver of life Himself.”

Kristen had to be intentional to replace the lies she was believing about herself, with the truth of God’s Word. This helped her to remain grateful and see God’s promises poured out into her life.

“It’s been really helpful to me to start in the Word, and then to practice an attitude of thanksgiving even when I don’t feel like it. Making a choice to rejoice, even when it’s really, really hard.”

“Just thinking on even the smallest of things that are worthy of thanking God for. How many spiritual blessings do we have in the heavenly places to be thankful for? Our forgiveness in Christ, an inheritance with Him in the heavenly places, mercy and grace for sin every single day, etc.. And then I look around me and I see all these precious good gifts that He’s given.”

Our flesh wants to avoid suffering at all cost, but Christ provides us with a different viewpoint of suffering. Sarah Walton speaks to this reality,

“We are natural to absorb the world’s view of suffering, especially in this western culture where we live in relative comfort compared to most of the world.”

“I know for me I was raised with mostly a comfortable life, of course there were trials, but I had a home to grow up in, we had food on the table every night, etc.. So when suddenly suffering struck my life, I was knocked off my feet.”

Sarah had to face some hard questions about God’s purpose in her suffering.

“This is not what I had planned for my life. What happened? Why did I deserve this? Even though I knew the truth that God was sovereign, I couldn’t make sense of it. I’m trying to follow the Lord, why do I keep feeling like I’m getting pummeled?”

“As the world views suffering, weakness, and pain as something to be completely avoided, God’s way – Christ’s way – is that suffering is His means of stripping us of our earthly comforts, our earthly self-confidence, and control in our life. Ultimately, His purpose in our life is eternal healing; it’s the healing of our souls.”

In this life we are not exempt from pain and suffering. But even in the midst of our hurting, we can still find the hope of Christ.

Kristen Wetherell and Sarah Walton are co-authors of Hope When it Hurts – Biblical reflections to help you grasp God’s purpose in your suffering. This book was born out of their individual pain and suffering from the effects of Lyme disease as well as their shared hope in the goodness of God.

Hope in the midst of suffering
Also on this edition of Jo Bender
Jessica Kelly's experience of suffering