August 2, Suffering

Today’s reading: Psalms 6-10

“My soul is in deep anguish. How long, Lord, how long?”
- Psalm 6:3.

The psalmists all dealt with a common human experience, and that is suffering. Suffering is pain caused by broken relationships, misunderstandings, violence, persecutions and failures — all the human predicaments that lead to mental and physical turmoil and heartache. In today’s verse, David inquired of the Lord as to how long his suffering was going to last. God often answered David’s questions, but God seldom if ever answers this question that David and you have asked. If you knew “how long” your agony was going to last, you would do everything you could to end or avoid it, thus missing an important personal development experience. Therefore, you must trust God that it won’t last a day longer than it needs to. Peter gave his readers a unique perspective on suffering in his first letter:

Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because whoever suffers in the body is done with sin. As a result, they do not live the rest of their earthly lives for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God (1 Peter 4:1-2).

Have you armed yourself with the attitude of Christ, that suffering is beneficial and necessary? Do you see that your suffering sets you free from yourself so you can focus on the needs of others and do God’s will? How will this change how you think of your suffering?