The question you must ask yourself today is: “Where do I go in the middle of suffering?” Think about a time in your life that has been a valley—a dark time in your life. Maybe following the death of a loved one; the end of a relationship; a time where you felt isolated, rejected, alone; maybe you went through something that you didn’t understand. Maybe this isn’t past tense for you; it’s something you’re experiencing as you read these words.
How we respond to suffering reveals our spiritual maturity. What I don’t mean is that the spiritually mature ignore their suffering, smile, and quote Bible verses constantly. “God works all things for good! (Rom. 8:28) How could I be sad??” What I mean is that those who are spiritually mature, when faced with suffering, turn to God instead of from Him. This means that you take your doubts, your frustrations, and your grief to God, trusting that He is mighty enough to deal with all of it.
Be encouraged by the example of David today. When faced with persecution he:
- Sought God through prayer. (v. 1-2)
- Keeps God at the rightful place in his heart (as opposed to those pursuing him). (v. 3)
- Reminds himself of God’s character. (v. 4-5)
- Believes that God will deliver him. (v. 6-7)
Where do you find yourself going in the middle of suffering? Do you deal honestly with your emotions or try to ignore them? Do you allow your anger/hurt keep you from God or draw nearer to Him?
If you would be willing to share an answer to one of those questions in the comments, I would love the opportunity to pray for you.
By: Graham Withers — Pastoral Ministry Apprentice