Why Suffering Is Not Only About You

Have you thought about why suffering is not only about you? Here are 3 reasons you are suffering as a believer about which perhaps you haven’t thought about.

Pain and suffering. It is quite naïve to think that when we surrender our lives to God and enter a relationship with Him through the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ, our lives will suddenly be all roses and birdsong.

Suffering Is Normal and To Be Expected

Actually, quite the contrary happens. We find a lot of warnings in the New Testament about what we should expect as followers of Christ.

Here is what Jesus says, „I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

The authors of the Epistles often talk about fiery trials as something normal and expected in the believer’s life and about the reality of spiritual warfare.

Here is what Apostle Peter writes, “Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.” (1 Peter 4:12)

And Apostle Paul admonishes, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.” (Ephesians 6:10-19)

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Why Suffering is Not Only About You

Often, we suffer as a consequence of wrong decisions, sinful choices, and simply because of the nature of the world we are living in.

But even more often, we go through suffering and pain because we are faithful followers of the Lord, committed to doing His will and wanting to be used by Him. Precisely because of that, the Lord allows periods of undeserved intense suffering, losses, and painful experiences in our lives.

It seems extremely unfair, doesn’t it?

Yes, at first glance it seems so. But I want to share with you 3 powerful reasons that the Lord reveals to us in His Word, why you are suffering as a believer, and why suffering is NOT only about you and for you.

Here are 3 powerful reasons revealed in God’s Word, why you are suffering as a believer, and why suffering is not only about you and for you.  #suffering #Biblestudy #encouragement  Click To Tweet

3 Reasons You Are Suffering as a Believer

#1 Our Suffering Is for Building Up the Church

This is the first powerful reason and purpose behind underserved suffering. God allows it often in our lives for the other saints’ benefit and spiritual growth.

We find 2 powerful passages in Colossians and 2 Corinthians, revealing this empowering truth.

  • Collosians 1:24, 28-29

“Now I rejoice in what I am suffering for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church.”

„He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ. To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me.”

  • 2 Corinthians 4: 12, 15

“So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you. “

All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.

#2 Our Suffering Is for God’s Glory

Our suffering is designed to bring glory to God. How? When we endure a trial by staying faithful and praising the Lord in our suffering and pain, our faith shines bright for the whole world to see.

We all know it is easy to trust the Lord and practice faith when life goes smoothly and we have everything we want, but the real test for our faith and our strongest testimony is found in our lack, losses, pain, and darkness.

Do we proclaim that the Lord is still good and we still trust His justice, provision, and love?

By placing our hope firmly in the Lord and the eternal place He has prepared for us, despite and amidst what happens to us on this earth, we bring Him glory.

“All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.” (2 Corinthians 4:15)

The real test for our faith and our strongest testimony is found in our lack, losses, pain, and darkness.  #faith #testimony #suffering #growth Click To Tweet

The real test for our faith and our strongest testimony is found in our lack, losses, pain, and darkness.  #faith #testimony #suffering #growth

#3 Our Suffering Is for Our Own Eternal Glory

This is the third powerful reason and godly purpose why God leads us directly in the valley of the shadow of death. His purpose for us is to transform us into the image of His Son, to purify, humble, and sanctify us, preparing us to share in His glory one day.

Yes, we are destined for glory. We are destined to share in God’s holiness and perfection for eternity.   In this light, the pain we go through is a small price to pay.

„For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. (2 Cor. 4:17)

Learn Why and How God Uses Suffering to Shape Us in DRAW NEAR

You can learn more about why and how God uses pain and hardships to shape us and mature us in my book, “Draw Near: How Painful Experiences Become the Birthplace of Blessings.”

Do you want to draw near to God when you are tempted to pull away amidst painful and traumatic experiences? Do you long for the transformation of your painful story into a story of preparation, empowerment, fruitfulness, and growth?

Let me take you on a journey through 13 painful experiences, showing the precious blessings in each of them.

Learn more about why and how God uses pain and hardships to shape us and mature us in my book "Draw Near: How Painful Experiences Become the Birthplace of Blessings." #drawnearbook #suffering #losses #growth Click To Tweet
Draw Near Book

More Encouragement for You

If you need more resources, encouragement, and comfort when you go through pain, suffering, and shaking, I highly recommend these books. Check them out.

Trusting God in All the Things: 90 Devotions for Finding Peace in Your Every Day by Karen Ehman and Ruth Schwenk

Make Up Your Mind: Unlock Your Thoughts, Transform Your Life by Denise Dubois Pass and Michelle Nietert

Life Can Be Good Again by Lisa Appelo

It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way by Lisa Terkeurst

Hope When Life Unravels: Finding God When It Hurts by Adam Dooley

Restoration Year – a 365 Days Devotional by John Eldredge

All Things New by John Eldredge

Hope for the Hard Days by Sarah Geringer

Lean into Grace by Stacey Pardoe

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This page contains affiliate links, which means I make a small commission at no extra cost to you. The commission I make from these items will help keep this blog going. Thank you!

Your Turn

Which of these 3 reasons for your suffering resonates most with you? Share in the comments and on social media if you found this article helpful. Thank you!

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12 Replies to “Why Suffering Is Not Only About You”

  1. Thank you for highlighting the importance of the three reasons why suffering is not only about you and me. The third reason, our suffering is for our own eternal glory, is a powerful reminder.

  2. This is a thought-provoking post on the interconnected nature of suffering and empathy. Suffering transcends individual experiences and fosters compassion.

    1. Thanks, Catherine! I am glad you found it thought-provoking. Suffering can shape us into comforters and encouragers if we allow it.

  3. This encouraged me so deeply today, Hadassah. Thank you for pointing us back to the Word, too!

  4. It is so true that the strongest testimonies come from times of pain. I love that you wrote this post about why suffering is not only about you (me). It is a good reminder to me that people are watching to see how I will respond in times of trial, and I so want o glorify Gods in those times. Thank you for the encouragement!

    1. Thanks, Lisa! I am happy that you found the post helpful and encouraging. May the Lord give you spiritual strength to stay faithful to Him in times of suffering and testing.

  5. Without testing, faith is undefined and without purpose. There is a vast difference between saying we have faith and living by faith.
    For us to have an assurance of the genuine nature of the faith that has been given us, it must be tested.
    We must obey and follow the lead of the Holy Spirit so that He can prove His Goodness.
    And create a Testimony within us so we can be Witnesses to His Glory and Grace in Christ Jesus our Lord and Savior.

    1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts! Yes, I absolutely agree that our faith needs to be tested to prove its genuineness, which is very precious in the eyes of the Lord. It is good to keep this perspective when we face trials and hardships.

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