How to Respond to Suffering
"Many times I have tried to run from suffering," one lady wrote. "But God seems to keep bringing the suffering my way until I learn to suffer for Him. I am learning that I can have joy, even in the midst of the suffering. He is teaching me to rest under His wing; there I find peace."
She signed it "Rejoicing in my portion..."
Sometimes our suffering is caused by hurtful comments of others. This happened to the Beloved in the Song of Songs. It is remarkable that she did not say one word of bitterness or complaint toward those who heaped criticisms upon her. When we have been wounded by another, it can be almost unbearable. As Proverbs 18:14 states, "A crushed spirit who can bear?"
Yet it is possible to forgive because Jesus has carried all of our sorrows and griefs (Isaiah 53:4, 5). "The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me" (Romans 15:3).
Madame Guyon wrote, "If your love for the Lord is pure, you will love Him as much on Calvary as on Mt. Tabor. The Lord Jesus loved His Father on Mt. Tabor where He was transfixed, but He loved Him no less on Calvary where He was crucified."* God loves to see us love and trust Him in our suffering just as we did when all was going well.
Dear Jesus, thank You for giving me grace to receive all with gratefulness and love believing you will not allow anything to come to me except what You can cause to be for my good and for Your glory.
"Be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold-though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world" (1 Peter 1:6-7 NLT).
*100 Days in the Secret Place, Compiled by Gene Edwards, p. 61