James 5:13 Are any among you suffering? They should keep on praying about it. And those who have reason to be thankful should continually sing praises to God.
Suffering is not a pleasant thing to go through or live with. We don’t like it because it causes us pain. It prevents us from being free to enjoy life, or so we think. I believe it would be beneficial to look at suffering from a different perspective.
Suffering, no matter the cause or pain, can be good for us if it causes us to turn to God more. It is good to draw strength for our suffering from Christ. It is good to go through suffering if it helps to build up stronger and more effective faith in us. It is good for us if it causes us to admit our helplessness to make it go away. When we endure suffering it should drive us to our knees. The Lord may or may not make the suffering go away, but when we pray we get all that we need to handle our sufferings. If you don’t like your sufferings, pray. If you don’t understand why you have to suffer, pray. If you find no help medically, pray. If no one understands your sufferings, pray. If no one comes alongside you to help you, pray.
If you are blessed to not have to suffer, pray and give thanks to the Lord and praise Him for His graciousness. Praise Him while you don’t have to suffer and you will be much more apt to praise Him while you suffer. Learn to give thanks to the Lord in the good times of life so that it will be natural for you to thank Him in the bad times.
Also, if you are not suffering, pray for those who are. We need to reach out with our prayers and love to those amongst us who suffer. Concerned compassion goes a long ways in helping the sufferer endure the suffering. Everyone needs to know that someone actually cares. We can’t make the suffering go away, but we can support those who do suffer.
During your suffering, consider this: we have eternal life in Christ. Circumstances do not dictate our salvation. We are forgiven for all our sins. We have the constant companionship of our Lord always. We have the enabling power of the Spirit of Christ always at work in us. We have the loving and watchful eye of our Heavenly Father protecting us from all harm. We have the guaranteed promise of God that we will spend our eternity with Him. Think about these things and no matter how much you may have to suffer, all will be well. You can do it through Christ who gives us the strength.