Faith

How To Find The Beauty in Suffering

Several summers ago I entered a very difficult season of life. I didn’t know it then – I thought it was just a really hard trial that would last for a while and then disappear. Looking back now, I can see very clearly that it was the Lord establishing my steps as He lovingly worked in my life. (Proverbs 16:9)

The past can be painful, bitter and hard to face. It’s difficult to look back over a period of life and relive the change, heartache, disappointment or grief that it held. This line from our Sunday service last week resonated with me –

The past is not about me. The past is about God and His faithfulness.

How can I make the past about God and not about me? It starts with how I live in the present.

One very practical way to do that is to keep a journal. When I entered that difficult season a couple years ago, I was advised by a wise person to write down the things God was teaching me. I’m so thankful that I did!

When I turn the pages of that journal, I see the roller coaster that is life. Emotions ranging from heartache and despair to joy and thankfulness fill the pages and bring back vivid memories. Below the lines of honest and transparent emotions, I wrote the truth that I was clinging to at that moment.

Whether it was a line from a song, a quote from a message or a Scripture verse or passage, writing it out helped me to claim it as my own. Those truths became just as real to me as the emotions that preceded them.

The greatest blessing of a trial is the intimate walk with Jesus you can gain because of it. Life is full of trials – and full of opportunities to walk closely with Jesus. The pages of my journal make me so thankful for God’s love that has been poured into my heart through the Holy Spirit. (Romans 5:5)

In every trial we are faced with a choice. Those who go down to the pit do not hope for God’s faithfulness. (Isaiah 38:18) We can either turn from God in self reliance, bitterness and anger, or we can turn to God and put our hope in His unfailing love and faithfulness.

If you are in a difficult season, I hope you’ll take this challenge and begin to write down what God is teaching you. It might not seem like He is teaching you anything. When you allow His word to speak to your heart each day, you can apply those truths to the things you feel.

It might take a while, but you’ll be able to look back and see His loving hands  – and the beauty in suffering.

 

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14 thoughts on “How To Find The Beauty in Suffering

  1. Thanks for being willing to share this testimony – not only your pain but to God’s faithfulness and willingness to use all things for His glory in our lives! I have a hard time with journaling but I can see what a blessing it would be to have those lines to look back on.

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  2. Thank you for sharing the things you’ve learned through the trials in your life. I’ve kept a prayer journal and a blessing journal before, but it’s been a while for both. I was just thinking the other day that I should start journaling again. Thanks for the nudge.

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    1. It’s always uncomfortable to me, at first, but I’m always so glad I worked through the things in my heart and contrasted them with God’s Word. ❤ And really, the way I journal is pretty much a combo of a prayer and a blessing journal. 🙂

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  3. Thank you Whitney for this beautiful post that I think all of us can relate to at some point in our lives. I too have been through suffering and grief in recent years. But through it all God has remained faithful and He has been good. He truly is a good, good Father. Take Care.

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  4. Wow! Beautifully written and I couldn’t agree more; with each passing year the Lord continues to show His love and comfort amidst all that life brings. Praise His mighty name and thank you for continuing to help others find Him!

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  5. thank you for sharing this…. I write scripture every morning from a daily scripture plan…however, your post encourages me to consider journaling as well!! thank you! I think your posts about faith are among my favorites on your blog 🙂

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    1. Allowing God’s Word to impact our hearts and minds makes all the difference in how we view suffering. I love that you’re doing the Scripture writing – you could easily just add a couple lines of application or response to those verses every day! ❤

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  6. Thank you for sharing out of the pain of your trial. What precious lessons these are and ones that we can all benefit from because you were wise enough to write them down and humble enough to share them with us. This is priceless wisdom. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

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