Suffering, But Not Forgotten

14 June 2023

2.8 MINS

Suffering. Even the mention of the word is something we run from, due to the sense of discomfort it brings.

In a world where we’re constantly surrounded by picture-perfect lives, how do we face the reality of pain?

In a world where it’s often taught that becoming a Christian will solve all of your problems, what do we do when it doesn’t?

When we experience events that crash over us like unexpected waves in the ocean — the ones that hit you just as you’re coming up for air, or circumstances that persist unrelentingly, it is easy to feel like we’ve been abandoned by God.

Like we must have taken the wrong turn or been misguided.

We can easily become disillusioned and discouraged in the midst of a world that places so much pressure on us to have it all together, and to make it known.

In the Church, there is sadly often an added element of pressure to do this. We can feel like our faith will be perceived as inferior if we don’t.


When reflecting on the life of the disciples and the early Church, it becomes apparent that it is inevitable for the Christian life to be marked by suffering.

The life of Jesus was. He was in perfect relationship with His Father and was Himself God, but He was not unfamiliar with pain, rejection and sorrow.

“He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.”
— Isaiah 53:3

Jesus experienced the full spectrum of human emotions, and this culminated at the cross, in the ultimate depths of grief, pain and loss. If we desire to know Jesus, we will come face to face with a man who has known great suffering — the greatest suffering.

Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when His glory is revealed.”
— 1 Peter 4:12-13

The more we experience pain in this life, the more we can empathise with the pain of those around us and appreciate the deep pain our Saviour endured for us.

When we love God in the midst of trials and pain, it shows the world that we have found a treasure in Him that is not based on superficial things He can give us — much like the life of Job.

When we experience suffering, it can either be the catalyst that drives us into the arms of our suffering Saviour, or the thing that drives us away from Him in anger and disappointment.

Remember This

If you are going through pain that seems too great to bear, I want to encourage you to keep going.

I want to implore you to look upon Jesus, the one who suffered for you.

As you do, may you be reminded that the reason He suffered was for you.

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”
— Hebrews 12:1-2

You were the joy set before Him.

If you lack joy today, if you feel overwhelmed and downcast, look to Him.

He has not forgotten you and He is with you through it all, in the darkness. And the darkness is as light to him.

Whether or not your circumstances remain or change, may you find hope in the truth that you are His joy, and that there will be a day when suffering will be no more.

“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
– Revelation 21:4

Until that day comes, may you find comfort in knowing that He is weeping with you.


Photo: Liza Summer/Pexels

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One Comment

  1. Jim Twelves 14 June 2023 at 8:15 am - Reply

    Dear Jana, thank you. You have taken us on a journey ‘through’ pain and out the other side. I particularly appreciated your calming touch along the way. Most helpful.

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