I have walked through several really painful times. Times of sorrow and grief, times of trauma and pain, times of anger and loss. I can speak from experience when I say that it is so hard to be content when you are suffering.
Are you going through a time of suffering right now? I want to invite you to the hope and joy of finding contentment in your suffering.
It isn’t an easy process and it doesn’t come naturally, but it is possible to be content when you’re suffering.
My story weaves through several very difficult times in my life. Times that left me wondering is there even a God and if so, is He good? Times that convinced me that there is no way that God loves me and no way He will save me.
But every single one of those times, God was at work in my heart. He was calling me to Him and teaching me what His grace is really about. And although it is still hard to hold onto the truths when suffering comes, it brings me so much peace and strength in the pain.
Are you looking for that peace and hope in your suffering?
Contentment during suffering is a change in mindset and it takes an intentional and a proactive approach to faith.
Paul writes about this in Philippians.
I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. -Philippians 4:12
Paul had experienced immense suffering in His walk of faith. He has every reason to be angry with God, to be miserable and hopeless. But still, he says that he is content no matter the circumstances.
Let this verse encourage you, that no matter what you are going through you can learn to be content. It’s just that - a learning process. It isn’t automatic and it doesn’t happen overnight. To find true contentment in times of suffering, you have to learn to change the way you think and the way you live.
Let’s dive into a few key factors in finding contentment during times of suffering.
Making God’s Glory a Priority
One of the biggest mindset shifts is making God’s will and glory your number one priority no matter what you are going through.
When you realize how amazing God’s glory is, you will desire to make it a priority.
During a time where my faith was crumbling as I was struggling to grasp some extremely difficult experiences in my life, this was exactly how I found the hope to keep walking.
I couldn’t grasp how God could love me and let me go through what I was going through, but as the fog began to disperse, I saw the light of this truth:
If my pain could bring glory to God and help just one person find faith - it would be worth it.
I began to want to use my pain and suffering for the glory of God. The experiences that I had kept hidden for so long became an opportunity to bring glory to the Lord.
God can work so powerfully when we praise Him in our weakness. His glory shines when we are weak and cling to Him for strength.
What is holding you back from making God’s glory a priority?
Remember, His glory is for your good as well. He is working all things for your good. When you can step back and trust that His glory is good, you will find the strength to make it a priority and it will bring you so much hope.
A Deeper Understanding of Grace
Recognizing that your suffering is growing in you a deeper capacity for life and grace brings great hope.
Where you’ve experienced deep pain, God’s healing touch is greater. Where you’ve experienced deep brokenness, God’s redemption is greater.
Through my darkest times, I’ve experienced a closeness with God that I wouldn’t have otherwise. I long for this closeness in every moment. But I never would have glimpsed the inward parts of grace and restoration had I not walked the path of suffering.
Your suffering brings an opportunity for God’s powerful mercy and love to be lavished upon you. Take this truth as hope and allow it to wash over you.
Learning to Be Content
Applying these truths is not an easy process. It takes the Holy Spirit’s work within you to full grasp hope and peace in your suffering. But you have the Holy Spirit already at work in your heart.
As you learn to shift your heart to these truths, it is important to position yourself to recieve God’s grace in this time.
Pray that God will be at work in your heart. Ask Him to align your will with His. Share any fears, pains and anger with Him. He wants to hear what is on your heart. It is when you share these things, that you can begin to find healing.
Surrender what you are going through to the Lord. This is not easy and you probably won’t feel that you can. But do it anyways. Even if it feels like empty words, tell the Lord that your circumstances are His and that you lay down your hopes, expectations and desires at His cross.
Don’t give up praising God. There is so much power in proclaiming His truths and your desire to praise Him. Doing this drives out Satan. Find ways to be thankful. Write a list daily of the very things that you are thankful for, even in these difficult times. Don’t give stop praising God, no matter how you are feeling or what you are going through.
I know that these things are all extremely hard during times of suffering. God will help you. Cling to Him and He will teach you to be content even in your most trying times.
What has helped you to learn to be content in times of suffering?
Check out this powerful song for encouragement today: