In Part I and Part II of Thoughts on Suffering, I have discussed some of the reasons why God allows us to suffer. Of course, the details vary, but the primary concept is that suffering can bring glory to God. Nothing else matters.
I would like to go over some ideas on dealing with suffering. This is meant to be a simple and yet practical post on how we cope when times are tough.
- Search Scripture. Find comfort in the words of Jesus and understand that He was a man and acquainted with sorrow. Search through the countless Biblical stories of those that suffered: Ruth, Job, and Paul are amongst others.
- Pray. Depression can make us feel like drawing back from the Lord, but it can also be a springboard towards closer fellowship with Him. Use it as a time to draw near to the throne of grace.
- Seek counsel. Talk to a trusted friend, family member, or church leader. Be selective in seeking counsel- it is not always wise to pour out your heart to every person that will listen. Seek the wisdom of one or two Godly counselors who can provide a listening ear and Biblical direction.
- Journal. Document the seasons in life that are trying in order to reflect on them in the future. Getting thoughts on paper can be very healing and also provide a reminder of God’s faithfulness in the storm.
- Preach the truth to yourself. Suffering is for a purpose- and it is an eternal purpose. Let it have its work in you. Do not run from it, but allow yourself to be molded by challenges. Remind yourself of truth about God and His nature.
- Repeat steps one through four.