On Suffering

Life is hard. God is still good.

As we travel through 2 Timothy, a constant theme that surfaces is suffering. Paul is experiencing it in prison and persecution. Timothy has encountered and is becoming increasingly familiar with it in Ephesus. For the Christian today it is inevitable. However, the promise remains, as Landon reminded us, is: there will be grace in the midst of it.

“As gravity grounds us to earth, so suffering glues us to the gospel.” The battle while we are "in between” is to remember that in Christ we are loved, our identity is sure, and He has given us community as a support in every season we face. 

And yet, in the midst of difficulty, our vision may still get blurry while questions arise from all angles. In those moments, we need:

Right remembrance of the past - God has helped me before. (Psalm 18:6)

Proper perspective in the present - God is with me and for me now. (Psalm 23:4)

Hope that sustains for the future - God will make all things new. (Revelation 21:5)

These truths aren’t trite or easy, but come to us rooted in the promises found in the death and resurrection of Jesus. 

Below are some resources to help you in the midst of suffering now, or prepare you for future seasons when difficulty comes. May these resources serve as fresh water in the midst of the dry valley.

Above and beyond these, one of the most valuable resources God has given is community. We were never meant to walk through tragedy and trials alone. Before looking into a book or blog, make a phone call and ask someone to pray with and for you. Be vulnerable about what is truly going on in your life. Vulnerability invites others to come alongside you right where you are. That is what community is about.

Resources:

A prayer: The Valley of Vision 

Interview: God’s Goodness in Your Pain 

Blog Post: 20 Quotes from Walking with God through Pain and Suffering

Book: A Grace Disguised

Book: Trusting God Even When Life Hurts

Songs for the Soul: