Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. James 1:2
If there were two roads: The Road of Suffering and the Road to a Peaceful Life, would you willingly choose the option to suffer? For those of us who would immediately want the peaceful life would be distressed to find out that the Road to a Peaceful Life merges into the Road to Suffering.
I have often pondered as to why there are so many levels of suffering. I am unable to remember a time in my life when I was not facing some type of hardship. So, I began to pray for comfort and for much-needed answers. The scriptures provided sound reasons for staying on the Road to Suffering. Because God is with us!
- Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Matthew 5:4
- God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble…Psalm 46:1-3
- Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength. Nehemiah 8:10
- But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”…2 Corinthians 12:9
There are definitive purposes for every trial and hardship that we endure. Our journey is all about strengthening our relationship with Christ. Living devoid of suffering prevents spiritual growth. We must experience whatever is required of us to live every day on bended knees. Suffering ensures that we maintain a connection with God based on absolute dependency throughout our lifespan.
Another benefit to suffering is the Refinement and Perfection of our Character. We become one with Christ when we surrender our total selves to Him as we become transformed into His likeness. Our character must align with God’s character. The first attribute we must possess is “Unconditional love” for God and others. This characteristic alone may be the one that has extended your journey on the Road to Suffering.
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9 NIV
Prayer: Dear God, Please help us to be faithful and joyful as we travel the Road of Suffering. Thank you for also traveling this Road, which led to your death for us that we may be redeemed. We ask you for the strength to grow closer to you. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen!
© Sonya Johnson Ruiz 2020