Before I came to Christ, life was easy for me with less suffering.
Financially, I was somewhat stable. I had a good-paying Engineering job. I had a ton of friends. My family wasn’t struggling that much financially. My dad wasn’t seriously battling any ailment. And most importantly, I wasn’t fighting spiritual warfares or having sleepless nights because of it.
It was pretty much a bit of rainbow and sunshine at that time. The only serious struggle I had was in my relationship life. But if you removed that from the picture, everything else was good.
However, the moment I came to Christ, my life took a 360 turn around. j
One might think that coming to Christ would mean more rainbows and sunshine with a sprinkle of excess faith and hope. But in all honesty, that could only be further from my truth.
Coming to Christ made my life a whole lot more difficult than it has ever been in the past 21 years. I went from being financially stable to struggling every day to make ends meet. My family’s income plummeted. My dad got hit with kidney failure and died. I found myself fighting spiritual warfares with a ton of sleepless nights. And most importantly, I lost loads of friends and financial opportunities.
The enemy really came after me with destruction and I had to begin this new life in Christ from a completely clean slate. Every day meant walking by faith and not by sight. And although I would get frustrated with my low-income bracket, the Lord kept supplying my needs.
I had to learn to be fully dependent on Father for everything, even the smallest things like needing a new tampon.
Because of how independent I was in the world and how much I hated relying on other people for my needs (I still do), Father had to completely break me.
As much as this suffering did produce a godly character within me, the enemy also tried to use it to produce a bitter character as well.
The enemy made me become very angry and discontent. Some days, I’d feel like the Israelites–complaining and getting angry at Abba for making my life more miserable. On some occasions too, I’d tell Him how great life was before salvation and how I missed the person I used to be because I felt it didn’t come with much suffering. And because of that, I’d feel the desire to run away from His presence and His call on my life.
When my dad became sick and I lost Him, that bitterness grew to new heights. I even at some point found myself blaspheming God and just being completely rebellious. Because I was so wounded in my soul that the only way I could express how I felt inside was through anger.
I felt that Him taking away my financial freedom was enough suffering for me. But then, when He took my dad too, I began to question His goodness in my life. And because of that, my rebellious nature took over.
A couple of days ago, Holy Spirit prompted me to watch the sermon Suffering by Joyce Meyer. When I listened to her story, I felt so much peace enter my heart. Hearing her talk on suffering made me realize that everything is actually working out for my good, even though I may not know it or see it now.
During this period of suffering, Father has been pouring in so much wisdom into my heart. I oftentimes find myself having the right words of encouragement to give others, especially those who are currently going through what I’ve experienced. It is very nice to see that my pain is somehow bearing fruit in other people’s lives. And honestly, it’s nice to see how Father has been using my weakness for His glory.
“More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope” – Romans 5:3-5
I won’t lie, some days are difficult. Often times, the enemy tries to use my suffering against me by planting negative thoughts that would cause me to question Father’s love for me. But just like Job’s story, we may never know why Father allows certain things to happen. All we can do is trust in Him, knowing that everything is working out for our own good.
Job was a nobleman and was very well respected. Yet, when Father allowed Satan to strip him completely, He complained. Even his friends were judging him by saying that Father was punishing him for something he did. Meanwhile, Job was just minding his own business and following his godly principles.
No joke, I even felt like Job at some point and had people judge me without knowing what I was battling behind closed doors. But one thing this suffering showed me is who my true friends really are.
The ones who left during my time of suffering showed me that they don’t deserve to be around during my time of blessing. And those who judged me and made assumptions about me also don’t deserve to make decisions when Father finally restores me.
Often times, when things are all rosy and sunshine, you won’t really know who is for you or who is against you. Some people are only around to take part in God’s blessings, but the moment it’s gone, they pull away. And it’s important you watch. Not just your friendships, but every other area of your life too. Pay attention to those who said nasty words behind your back and those who helped and supported in your time of need.
The wisdom Father gives in times of suffering is what would be necessary for your next season of blessings and breakthrough. Plus, others would get to learn from your strengths and weaknesses as well.
Some of you reading this are currently in a season where it feels like you’re suffering. You’ve tried everything in your power to make ends meet, yet nothing seems to be producing fruit. Perhaps you got fired from a job or you lost a long term relationship? Or maybe you had some friends walk out on you or your struggling to make ends meet?
Regardless of what your suffering may be, it’s important you ask the Lord for the wisdom He is trying to offer you in this season.
“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” – James 1:2-4
Don’t be like the Israelites when Abba throws a bit of suffering your way by complaining and being rebellious. Most importantly, don’t try to rush through the suffering process by taking matters into your own hands and running back to Egypt. It won’t get you anywhere but will give you more wounds and sorrow.
Also, understand that someone else out there is probably desiring the things you are complaining about. Someone probably has it more difficult than you do. And if you don’t begin to appreciate the little blessings Abba is giving you in your season of suffering, you won’t be thankful when the bigger blessings come.
Being appreciative of life in of itself is a blessing and is enough to be thankful for. There are many people who have lost loved ones (myself included) and know the beauty of having breath to see another day in life. So do not look down on your situation because you are not where you want to be, or because your life is more difficult than it used to be. Job too complained about missing his old life, but what good was it? His new life with the double blessings from Abba was much better than his old life.
And that’s the beauty of suffering. Knowing that at the end of the day, there’s a great reward waiting for you on the other side.