Pain and suffering “stinks,” and it’s hard to understand why these things happen. Sadly, in our world we will see or go through pain, suffering, and hardships. I think this is why we have the Book of Job– we can see from Job’s example that no matter what happens in our life that we are to continue to praise God. Yes, it is hard to praise God when things feel like they are falling apart but when there is nothing or no one else, God is still there, and there is also the body of Christ.
The Bible tells us to “…pray for each other...” (James 5:16, NIV), and to “Carry each other’s burdens…” (Gal 6:2, NIV). As Christians, we are all the body of Christ, “If one part suffers, every part suffers with it…” (1 Cor 12:26, NIV).
I think there are some people who are afraid that they will not know what to say to someone who is suffering, or maybe they are uncomfortable seeing someone’s pain and hardship. I have found that most of the time, people who are suffering just need a hug– no words, just a hug.
If you are experiencing hardships, pain, and/or suffering, then I hope that you have found someone to walk with you in your suffering; and if you have suffered in the past, then I hope that you will walk with someone who is in pain (2 Corinthians 1:3-5).
Copyright © 2018 Dr. M. Teresa Trascritti
I remember when I was about 5-years-old; my father asked if I wanted to learn how to swim. I responded enthusiastically with, “Yeah,” so he took me farther into the water (we were at the beach) and then he dropped me.
I remember trying to get my head above the water, thrashing my arms around and frantically moving my legs, but my body kept sinking towards the bottom. After a little while, I finally just gave up. That’s when I felt my father pick me up from the water.
Sometimes we find ourselves in the proverbial “deep waters” of life. We are in “over our heads” with many problems or just too many things going on at once. We try to “hang in there” but we slowly find ourselves feeling overwhelmed, tense, or even angry.
I have felt overwhelmed these past few weeks. I kept telling myself “things will get better,” but I just kept feeling more pressure and more stress. Even when I read the devotionals with my husband, I still had other things on my mind and I found it hard to concentrate on the Words we were reading.
Today, I stopped everything that I was doing. I sat in silence for a little while, then I opened the Bible and read.
The reality is that God allows hardships to happen in our lives: “…he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike” (Matthew 5:45); but just as my father reached down to pull me from the water, God does the same thing for us. In Psalm 18:16 it says, “He reached down from heaven and rescued me; he drew me out of deep waters” (NLT).
Sometimes we have to just “give up” and allow God to rescue us.
Copyright © 2013 Dr. M. Teresa Trascritti
My husband and I are reading through Job and we are at the part where Job’s friends are there to console him. After his first friend speaks, Job replies by describing his pain—“My body is covered with maggots and scabs. My skin breaks open, oozing with pus” (Job 7:5, NLT). Even though Job had lost everything and was now physically suffering, he never “curses” God.
People endure so many different things. My father-in-law suffered with a debilitating illness for 20 years yet it made him a stronger Christian. No matter how much pain he felt, he had a smile on his face. He could have easily turned away from God but instead he clung to Him even tighter.
Then I thought about people who have other hardships and how they have stopped relying on God. Rather than asking God why they are suffering, they instead say in their hearts that there is no God. These people are like seeds that have been planted on shallow soil or around thorn bushes—they spout but then die off quickly (Matthew 13:5-7, NLT).
I think God uses hardships to shape us. It is a test of our endurance—will we keep relying on Him even though it seems like He is doing nothing to help us? First Thessalonians 5:17-18 says, “Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus” (NLT). Are you suffering physically, mentally, or emotionally? Then run to God, cling to Him, and never let Him go!
Copyright © 2013 M. Teresa Trascritti
I thought about the Scripture verse from Matthew 5:45, “…He gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike.” It made me realize that all of us will have good days and bad days. If we have a relationship with God then we can handle the bad days differently. We need to draw closer to God when we are having good days so that we will be prepared when we encounter bad days. Our problems are temporary. We need to keep focused on God instead of putting our attention on the situation. It seems that if we keep our focus on God as we endure hardships then we become stronger, spiritually and emotionally.