Friend, if you are in a season of pain, I want to share with you five comforting truths when we suffer.
Sometimes the emotional or physical pain can be so intense or prolonged that it throws us into the pit of hopelessness and depression. Suffering has the potential to damage our view of God and our relationship with Him, if it is not interpreted in the light of God’s truths and love or if we fail to submit to God in our suffering.
5 Comforting Truths When We Suffer
There are five comforting truths described in 2 Corinthians chapters 1 and 4. These truths are a powerful source of hope, comfort, and encouragement in our time of suffering.
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#1 Suffering Sets Us in the Best Position to Receive and Experience God’s Comfort
If we surrender to God, suffering opens the door of our hearts to know the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort. (2 Corinthians 1:3).
Not only God draws near to comfort us but as stronger our suffering is, the more abundant His comfort is; the stronger the pain, the deeper the compassion, and the tighter His embrace.
We can draw immense encouragement from the truth that we are not only participants in the suffering; we are also participants in the comfort.
“For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.” (2 Corinthians 1:5)
#2 Suffering Shapes Us into Comforters and Encouragers
When we receive comfort in our suffering, we are also able to love others better with greater compassion and understanding and to comfort them with the comfort we have received.
“…who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” (2 Corinthians 1:4)
It is not an accident that in the Old Testament prophecies the Lord Jesus Christ is called “the suffering servant” and “the wounded healer”. We are also following His steps when we let the suffering enlarge our heart’s capacity for empathy and love.
“If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer.” (2 Corinthians 1:6)We follow in the steps of the Wounded Healer when we let the suffering enlarge our heart's capacity for empathy and love. #suffering #encouragement #bgbg2 Click To Tweet
#3 Death Leads to Life
We can take big comfort in this spiritual principle. As Jesus died and then has been resurrected, so we need to experience the death of our self-life in order to live the resurrected life of Christ. Death always precedes life. So, if our suffering feels like dying, let’s encourage ourselves with this eternal truth.
Like a seed that first is buried in the darkness of the soil, so we pass through seasons of darkness and pain to experience the birth of a new life and our true selves.
“We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body.” (2 Corinthians 4:10-11)
#4 Suffering Is the Birthplace of Renewal and Transformation
We tend to view suffering as the experience of multiple losses and rightly so. The losses of things and people we treasure cause us pain and sorrow, distress and anguish. However, the Bible teaches us to view suffering also as a birthplace of renewal and transformations, of new growth and new life when we submit ourselves to God’s ways.
“And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 3:18)
“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.” (2 Corinthians 4:16)Suffering can be the birthplace of renewal and transformations, of new growth and new life when we submit ourselves to God’s ways. #suffering #growth #bgbg2 Click To Tweet
#5 Suffering Precedes Eternal Glory
The fifth truth connects our present-day painful reality with the big picture of eternity. On the backdrop of eternity, our painful experiences surrendered to God, produce something of eternal value in and for us, a character and a fruit that matter for eternity.
Compared to the outcome, the troubles we experience here are light and momentary, passing away and paling in the face of the eternal glory and beauty that they help produce.
“For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” (2 Corinthians 4:17)
How to Embrace Suffering With Confidence
Meditating on these five comforting truths when we suffer helps us not to get discouraged, but even embrace suffering with confidence and faith. We can do this when we look at the invisible, fixing our eyes on Jesus. Let Him comfort us, sensitize us, mold us, and shape us.
“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:18)
And lastly, we can endure all forms of suffering, even when it leads to death when we don’t rely on ourselves but continue to place our hope on God who raises the dead. (1 Corinthians 1:9)
5 Comforting Truths When We Suffer Printable
I have prepared a printable of these 5 comforting truths and the accompanying Bible verses to help you meditate on them. Click on the image to download it.
Find More Comfort in These Books
Friend, if you are in a season of suffering and grief, you may also want to check my new “BOOK OF COMFORTS”.
In this book you’ll find comfort when you struggle with unmet expectations, disillusionment in faith, when you are in a season of pain, when your hope diminishes, when life gets hard, and much more. Reflection questions and a guided prayer follow each devotion.
Additionally, I can recommend highly these books. They have helped me tremendously in my season of suffering. Check them out.
The Grief Guidebook: Common Questions, Compassionate Answers, Practical Suggestions by Gary Roe
Suffering and the Heart of God: How Trauma Destroys and Christ Restores by Diane Langberg
A Grace Disguised: How the Soul Grows through Loss by Jerry L. Sittser
A Grace Revealed: How God Redeems the Story of Your Life by Jerrry L. Sittser
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14 Replies to “5 Comforting Truths When We Suffer”
1 Peter 3:14 talks about suffering for what is right, while we may not be literally persecuted, we can spiritually be, that is when His comfort and peace really bless us.
So true! Thanks for sharing this, Rebecca!
Such powerful truths! I would choose #1 that suffering sets us up for His comfort. How encouraging His comfort is greater when our suffering is greater.
Thanks, Carla! Yes, His comfort is always available to us. It is so reassuring to know and experience Him as the God of all comfort!
Thank you for sharing these beautiful words. I appreciate your guidance in meditating on these softer, comforting truths when we suffer. Your printable will serve as a regular reminder.
Thanks a lot for your encouraging words, Ana! I am glad that you found the article and the printable helpful.
Thank you for sharing these comforting truths. It’s so true that suffering can make us more open to turning to God. When I am suffering, God is truly a comforting presence, especially in times of suffering.
Thanks, Lisa! I am glad that you turn to God when in suffering and that you experience His comforting presence.
Thanks so much, Rebecca! It is a good idea to have a post-it note. That’s why I have prepared and added a printable to the post with these 5 truths and the accompanying Bible verses.
Suffering is the birthplace of renewal and transformation! Yes, that’s the point that reached out and grabbed me this morning. Thank you for sharing this! Just what I needed.
Thanks a lot, Rosemary! I am happy that the post resonated with you! Blessings to you!
Hadassah, I love how you point us to the Scriptures in so many ways here. I have personally found that it’s only God’s Word that truly holds up in intense suffering. May our God continue to brings comfort to your heart and blessings in your life!
Thanks so much, Patti, and Amen to your prayers! Yes, it’s true – God’s Word is the firm foundation on which we stand in times of shaking and suffering.
This is beautiful! I think I need to post-it note these truths around my house as reminders. I had a friend point out recently that we also experience miracles more offer when we’re suffering (and less often when things are going fine). Thanks for sharing this.