You want to “suffer well”? — a poster

Or running away into the mountains . . . or going over a wall in a basket . . . or hiding on a roof . . . 

There is still suffering in the loss of a relationship and recovery from a betrayal, suffering that will remind us to turn our eyes to Jesus Christ for our hope and healing. But this is not the willful suffering of putting oneself under cruelty on purpose, thinking that it will somehow refine you.

There is only one Refiner. It is Jesus Christ. There is only one way to be refined. It is by faith in Him.

Sometimes suffering is completely unavoidable. Sometimes suffering is a path we must go through in order to attain a vital goal. But instead of assuming that all suffering is desirable, we can ask the Holy Spirit to help us discern. Is this suffering completely unavoidable? Is this suffering to be endured for a vital goal?

Or is this a suffering that we can and should escape?

We can suffer intelligently.

4 thoughts on “You want to “suffer well”? — a poster

  1. I shocked a friend once when I complained that a mutual acquaintance of ours tended to take WAY too much on herself, then talk about how God was stretching her during this time of suffering. I said that, instead, how about she try to avoid stressful situations more? At my friend’s surprised expression, I remembered that SHE was one who tended to get involved in hurtful relationships (whether romantic or friendship) and hang on to them in the name of Jesus and “suffering.” Obviously I needed your post at that moment. 🙂

    • Self-inflicted suffering. Hmmm. I think there’s a name for that. When I was visiting a friend recently, she showed me a movie from the 1940s about a Catholic saint in which the nuns talked about how suffering was going to make them more holy and acceptable and pleasing to God, so one of them who wanted to be Super Nun increased her suffering with self-harm. I thought, “Wow, that sure is sounding familiar.” It was brought back to me how very wrong the present teaching on suffering is in the evangelical church.

      • Isn’t it amazing. Names and places vary, but the same errors and deceptive mindsets get recycled century after century.

  2. I realized after being exposed to a scripturally healthier viewpoint that suffering is idolized in some circles. The more miserable you are the better. Especially as it is promoted in those “godly christian wifey” books. Where they run themselves ragged into early burnout because they think that suffering in this life is how to please God and become more holy. – Colleen G

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