7 Ways to Suffer Well: (Part 1)

Why do we have to suffer?  Suffering is inevitable in this world. Having gone through much suffering myself, I can make seven suggestions for how to suffer well.

1.  Accept that suffering happens to everyone in the world, and we can’t control when, how, or what happens to us.  We can only control how we react to it, so acceptance is the first step to suffering well. The reason for suffering is because we live in an imperfect and unpredictable world with imperfect people. Often we cause our own suffering from the wrong choices we make.  Suffering can be called a trial, a tribulation, or an affliction.

1 Peter 4:12-14 states, “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery (painful; NIV) trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13) But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when His glory is revealed.” Also read Romans 8:17&18.

2. Allow suffering to strengthen you and to make you more compassionate. For instance, when you endure afflictions well, then you can support and comfort others going through the same affliction. My friends, who had been through similar difficulties, have supported, encouraged, and helped me. Their encouragement gave me strength to go through my troubles.  Now, I am able to comfort and support others who are going through similar difficulties.

3.  Don’t take it personally. Embrace suffering as a part of life.  Allow your difficulties to expose your character flaws, so you can remove them so the fruit of the spirit can grow.  Personality flaws are often the result of painful memories, which generate unhealthy beliefs, that then control your negative reactions.  My website, hopeforcompletehealing.com, explains how to discover, transform, and reprogram painful memories and unhealthy beliefs, so you can deal with difficulties in a healthy way.

4. Forgiving is the key to suffering well. Forgiving those who cause or have caused your suffering is the only way to keep your peace and joy. When you don’t forgive, then you become angry, bitter, and resentful because you are self-absorbed and focused on the injustice of the suffering. For example, I could have resented my ex-husband for allowing my son to go down the wrong path of drugs and alcohol but, I realize my son is responsible for the wrong choices he makes. I could have resented my son for making wrong choices, and bringing embarrassment and shame to the family but, I realize I am no one special and I am not alone. My point is not to take offense, because of another person’s weakness or sin. Be quick to forgive and practice the truths in the Word of God. Refer to my post on forgiveness WHY SHOULD I FORGIVE.

5. Turn your suffering over to God and allow Him to work in your life. Difficulties perfect you, strengthen your faith, and increases your ability to endure. Submit the outcome of the trial or difficulty to God and don’t lose His peace and joy. Remember, you cannot control what, when, or how difficulties happen, but you can control what you do when they come.

James 1:2-4 –Count it all joy, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3) for you know that the testing of your faith produces1 steadfastness2 (endurance; patience). 4) And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect3 and complete4, lacking in nothing.” (ESV)

** 1) Produce means to bring forth; create; bear (as a plant bears fruit and seed); etc..

** 2) Steadfastness means firm, fixed, settled, or established. 2. Constant; not changing.

** 3) Perfect means complete in all respects; without defect.

** 4) Complete means lacking none of the parts; to make entire, thorough, or perfect

** 5) Endurance means the ability to last, continue, or remain b) ability to stand pain, distress, fatigue, etc.

** 6) Patience means the quality of being patient, as the bearing of provocation, annoyance, misfortune, or pain, without complaint, loss of temper, or irritation.

?? Why is it important to test our faith?

Testing your faith reveals what you really believe. Testing also strengthens and purifies your faith. Trials and suffering give you the opportunity to practice the truths in God’s Word, which strengthen your faith and transform your thinking, attitudes, and character.

Romans 5:2-4 states, “Through Him, we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3) Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4) and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,” (ESV)

6. Stay focused on the truths and promises of God’s Word and do what it says.  When you do this, then you avoid the depression that often accompanies suffering.  Grief is healthy, but depression is not. Depression is inner anger, caused by focusing on what you don’t want. Looking up and finding the rainbow, and maintaining a positive view, helps you suffer well. The Bible says to “be thankful in everything, pray without ceasing, and rejoice always” (1 Thes. 5:16-18). This sounds hard to do, but with God’s help, all things are possible.

Philippians 4:6-7 states, “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7) And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” And, 4:13 “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”

7. Stay humble. Suffering will often lead to pride because we think we didn’t or don’t deserve it. So suffering well is to humbly seek God’s help and strength to endure and overcome. Remember, Satan also causes afflictions to draw us away from God; read the story of Job. Satan wants you to become angry and depressed, which is why you need to resist him and draw near to God.

James 4:6-8 states, “But he gives more grace. Therefore it states, ‘God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.’ 7) Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8) Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.”

None of us likes suffering, but it happens. What you do during times of suffering will either make you stronger or miserable; it is your choice to suffer well or not. Also, keep suffering in proper perspective. I often say, “This too shall pass.”

Romans 8:18 states, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.”

2 Corinthians 4:17-18 states, “For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, 18) as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”

Read about how Joseph suffered well: Joseph, an Example of Suffering Well and God’s Response: Part 2 of Suffering Well

Anger Issues Protected by Pride and Judgmental Strongholds

The pride and judgmental strongholds in my life protected many issues of anger generated from the humiliation, shame, injustices, betrayals, disappointments, and rejections throughout my life.  If you are unfamiliar with what mental strongholds are and my castle illustration, please read the following post first; STRONGHOLDS PART I—What are they and how do they affect us?

The reason why we need to deal with this stronghold combination is to love as God loves. To love well, we need to eliminate the sins of anger, bitterness, resentment, hatred, judging, and pride.  These sins prevent God’s love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness (humility), faithfulness (trust), and self-control from flowing out of us to others.

People with this stronghold combination typically were either bullied or come from dysfunctional or abusive families/marriages.  I experienced all the above.  I found that broken trust is the main force that generates pride and being judgmental.  Broken trust comes from betrayal by those who you expected would love and protect you.  My pride issues were created by damaged self-worth and low self-esteem and are often revealed by over-sensitivity and over-reaction.   You can learn how to heal betrayal issues and repair your damaged self-worth by reading my short book on my website.

For example, I was hurt and offended when my younger sister demeaned me and put me down continually as we were growing up. I stored that hurt and offense in my heart, and every time I was demeaned or felt demeaned as an adult, I would become angry. When I asked God to show me why I was getting so angry, He showed me how my younger sister had offended me. I then forgave my sister, because I know she demeaned me because she was hurting too. I then confessed any sin on my part to God, which is very important for overcoming anger issues.  Our sin needs forgiving because it has negative, oppressive, stress energy and will re-establish the offenses.  For instance, I confessed and asked for forgiveness of the sin of wanting to harm my sister and for demeaning and disgracing her in return.

The pride stronghold wall protects unhealthy beliefs such as—I am better than you. Don’t tell me I am wrong. Don’t tell me what to do but do what I want.  The pride wall protects the inner judgmental wall that protects unhealthy beliefs of—I have the right to determine if you are right, wrong, or insincere. I have the right to be angry, bitter, resentful, and hateful. I don’t trust you or value you. The judgmental stronghold wall then protects the anger seat of authority, which holds all our memories of hurts, disappointments, unmet needs and desires, offenses, soul wounds, bitterness, resentments, and hatred.  These memories produce unhealthy beliefs, which control our thoughts, and our thoughts dictate what we say and do.

Another reason why we need to deal with this stronghold is because God hates pride (Prov. 8:13; James 4:6), and anger does not achieve the righteousness of God, only peace and humility does (James 1:20; 3:18), which is why I wanted to be free.  We are also instructed to not be judgmental (Matthew 7:1).  I hope and pray that if you have this same issue that you too will find freedom, so you can love from a pure heart.  To learn how to be free from anger and this stronghold combination, please visit my website, you will be glad you did.  https://hopeforcompletehealing.com/

Anger issues are also entwined in the Impatience stronghold combination;  read the following post: Freedom from Impatience and Strongholds of Injustice and Unfairness

To begin reading my book, start here: 1–Healing Begins by Transforming Painful Memories

Related Posts:

Why, What, and How to Submit to God

Free from Anger–County Jail Testimony and Teaching

The Core Negative Heart Issue

WHY HEAL YOUR HEART AND PURIFY YOUR SOUL?

Five Steps to Heal Your Heart and Purify Your Soul

Bondage to Unseen Controls

HOW PRIDE DESTROYS


If you find my posts and website helpful, then please share the links with your friends and family, hopeforcompletehealing.com. The information is copyright protected and no part of the posts or my book may be reproduced without proper citation to Joyce Hanscom.

Contact me at hopeforcompletehealing@gmail.com, and ask for a PDF of Eight Prayers from the Bible. The prayers are for the Spirit of wisdom, renewal, spiritual strength, knowledge of His will, virtues of God, non-believers, 23rd Psalm, and victory. Please leave your name so I know you are a real person making the request.

P.S.: Experiencing a lasting change in your life depends on having a right relationship with God the Father through believing in His Son Jesus Christ and obeying His command to love (1 John 3).

WHY SHOULD I FORGIVE

Forgiving is hard to do but with God’s help you can do it.  When we don’t forgive, the negative energy of the hurt keeps us in bondage to the offense.  When we are offended our thoughts are focused on that hurtful issue and we cannot love others as Christ does. I encourage you to forgive people who have spoken hurtful words to you or done a hurtful action that caused you to become offended. If you find it hard to forgive as I do, please carefully consider the following. Unforgiveness often does not hurt the person we refuse to forgive, but it always hurts us, which is why it blocks healing, love, and the joy of life.

Forgiveness is essential for healing because it releases us from the power of a wrongful action or offense. Forgiving someone does not excuse their wrong actions but sets us free to heal and move on. In Shattering Your Strongholds, Liberty Savard advised not to replay your inner tapes of anger and guilt over painful memories, failures, humiliations, and the sins of others against you. So, forgive those who have hurt you, including yourself if necessary, and verbally set loose the power those memories have on your mind.

Each time you are tempted to take up an offense immediately forgive so that the offense does not get a hold of your mind and cause you to sin with your words and actions. When I don’t forgive an offense and begin to think about it, then I become angry, resentful, and then I sin by being unkind. So, it is best to forgive right away. This does not replace setting up boundaries if someone is being destructive or bringing the offense to the other person’s attention. Most times the person who is being offensive does not realize it, because they may have offenses in their minds that control their choices.

Perhaps the greatest demonstration of supernatural forgiveness in all of history is when Jesus prayed to His Father as He hung on the cross to pay the penalty for the sins of all of mankind, “Forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). Ponder the following Scriptures on forgiveness, and if you need to repent of being unforgiving, then this is a very good time to do so. Matthew 6:14-15 states, “For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, 15) but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.Mark 11:25 states, “And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.”  In Matthew 18:21-35, Jesus explains what happens when we do not forgive.  Verse 35 sums up his teaching, “So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.

Interesting, Jeremiah also wrote under the inspiration of God the following in Jeremiah 31:34b; “For I [God] will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” Also, Hebrews 8:12 states, “For I [God] will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.”  Isaiah 43:25 and Hebrews 10:17 restate the same thing. If God can forget our sins when He forgives us, then we too can forget the sins of those who hurt us when we forgive. Furthermore, when we forgive the sins done against us, then those sins no longer can control our emotions and subsequently our behavior. If you struggle with forgiveness and you want to be free from the controlling power of the hurt in your heart and painful memories, then please read my short book called “Hope for Complete Healing” on my website: https://hopeforcompletehealing.com/


If you find my posts and website helpful, then please share the links with your friends and family, hopeforcompletehealing.com. The information is copyright protected and no part of the posts or my book may be reproduced without proper citation to Joyce Hanscom.

Contact me at hopeforcompletehealing@gmail.com, and ask for a PDF of Eight Prayers from the Bible. The prayers are for the Spirit of wisdom, renewal, spiritual strength, knowledge of His will, virtues of God, non-believers, 23rd Psalm, and victory. Please leave your name so I know you are a real person making the request.

P.S.: Experiencing a lasting change in your life depends on having a right relationship with God the Father through believing in His Son Jesus Christ and obeying His command to love (1 John 3).