Enduring what life throws at us is what life is all about. We fall down and then get back up, dust off our pants and limp forward once again. No one enjoys suffering (God has heard our cries and is concerned with our suffering Exodus 3: 7). Yet suffering is a normal part of the Christian life. In fact scripture says that we can expect hardships in our lives (2 Tim. 2: 3; 3: 1-4, 13), so we must be prepared.
Knowing that we will come face to face with the impossible, how then can we remember that God loves to deal with the impossibles? (Luke 18: 27) Here are ten things to help remind you and keep giving you courage to move forward.
1. Don’t forget why you are suffering- Remember that you are a child of God and that He has placed you on this earth for such a time as this. You are to be His hands, His feet and guide others to find a relationship with Him. We endure so that others may find freedom. ( 1 Timothy 2: 10)
2. You are a prisoner of no person or circumstance. You belong to Christ. He sees all, knows all and is in control- Nothing can take away Gods power to lead our lives in the way He sees is right. We belong to Him, so our lives are in His hands. (Romans 14: 8)
3. Trust God’s Word to be true- No matter what is happening around you listen for His voice. He will lead you, just like a shepherd leads his sheep. Don’t doubt His light in the darkness. (2 Timothy 1: 13)
4. Do what God has called you to do- Don’t give up, persevere and be faithful regardless of any opposition or hardship. You have been called. Keep up the good fight. (2 Timothy 4: 1-5)
5. Trust that God will deal with the difficult people in your life, who try to be stumbling blocks to your progress- Don’t take matters into your own hands. Let God take care of things. Scriptures say that the wicked will receive their just reward. Don’t get in God’s way by arguing and being bitter. (2 Timothy 2:23- 26)
6. Remember how the Lord has saved you in the past- Be quick to remember, never doubting that He will do it again. He is always with you and will never forsake you. (2 Timothy 4: 17)
7. Rely on the resources God has given you- Grace (2 Timothy 1: 2), Talents (2 Timothy 1: 6-7), Power (2 Timothy 1: 8), The Holy Spirit (2 Timothy 1: 14), The Word of God (2 Timothy 2: 7).
8. Remember that you are not alone in your suffering- God is with you ( Matthew 28: 20). You are covered with the prayers of others (2 Timothy 1:3). Others believers are suffering just as you are, in the name of Christ (2 Timothy 1: 8). Seek out Godly people, read stories of those that have gone before. Learn how they have endured. Know that you can too.
9. No matter how bad things are today, you can face the future with hope- Know that all wrongs will one day be righted (2 Timothy 3: 8-9). The Lord will deliver you from all evil (2 Timothy 4: 17-18). All your suffering will be rewarded when we stand before the Lord (2 Timothy 1: 12). You have a crown of righteousness waiting for you (2 Timothy 4: 8). Things will work out ok in the end, we just have to wait expectantly with our hearts filled with hope.
10. In all your hardship, remember Christ- He went through it all too, for you. He understands your pain and sadness. You are not alone. He desperately wants to save you and then someday soon bring you home with Him. Don’t forget what He has been doing and why.(John 14: 2-3)
Expect suffering, but don’t lay down at its feet. You are an overcomer because you are not alone. God is standing behind you encouraging you to keep walking forward. “I know the way,” He says. “I have been there, and I have come back for you, to lead you safely through life’s snares.” Trust Him. He already went through a life of suffering so that we don’t have to feel its consequences. You can endure. Hold onto His hand and He will help you.