Let Your Suffering Have Meaning

“I never really thought that there could be a positive side to suffering, I mean, who wants to suffer? I certainly didn’t and I couldn’t understand why I was having to go through this.” (Kristen, Voices of Hope DVD – The Value of Suffering)

Suffering is certainly the antithesis of our societal message. I haven’t got time for the pain was a popular song lyric turned pain reliever commercial jingle, turned modern perspective. With more than 27 million Americans age six and older taking antidepressant medications (USA Today, http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2009-08-03-antidepressants_N.htm) this slogan’s bite has some seriously sharp teeth. The truth of the matter is that people don’t have time for the pain because they don’t know how to suffer.

Suffering is a process and it takes time to get through. You can’t take a Tylenol to relieve emotional pain; you must walk through the fire so-to-speak. But the beauty of suffering is change, and the process of suffering changes you. You can allow it to change you for the better or for the worse… it’s entirely your decision. Suffering purges, cleanses and builds character. Heroes and saints have suffered greatly and you have the opportunity to do the same. Let your suffering have meaning by offering it up for others… the souls in purgatory, a sick friend, your ex-spouse… there are endless opportunities for offering up suffering. But most of all, be patient. As painful as your divorce is, you can be assured that God is using this for your benefit. Your blessings will be abundant!

For you, God, have tested us. You have refined us, as silver is refined. – Psalms 66:10

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