As we walk through this broken world, the experience of suffering is inevitable. It may come from the sin of others, the consequences of our own sin, or simply the reality of living in a fallen world. Whatever the source, suffering invites us to respond and serves as an opportunity to walk intimately with our Savior, who is himself well-acquainted with suffering.
The Lord has been showing me lately that the path He’s given us to walk through our experiences of suffering is one of surrender. A heart of humility and surrender traverses suffering with eyes on Jesus – hope in his eternal purposes and presence, desperate dependence, and faithful obedience. This journey of surrender will vary with each unique circumstance, but there are some common ways that surrender is expressed in the midst of suffering:
- Trusting God’s sovereignty, especially in terms of timing and provision. We surrender our desired outcome.
- Receiving His comfort, which requires us to grieve before Him and choose to believe that He is our Good Father.
- Willingly entering into the hard places by resting in His presence there with us.
- Acknowledging and repenting of our own sin.
- Choosing to forgive those who have hurt us. We surrender our desire to defend ourselves and seek revenge, and respond with mercy instead.
- Allowing God to rewrite the story of our suffering and reorient our hearts toward Him.
Let me hear Your lovingkindness in the morning;
For I trust in You;
Teach me the way in which I should walk;
For to You I lift up my soul.
– Psalm 143:8, NASB