Thursday, August 18, 2022

3 Ways God Uses Suffering in Our Lives


By: Donna Bucher

Everyone struggles with some form of pain and suffering in their lives. Perhaps a long standing illness, or unresolved relationship issues; even a struggle with job loss or financial hardship. At times, a faith issue, where God seems absent, silent, or distant, inflicts anxiety of mind.

While pain in some form exists in our lives, we often wonder if suffering has a purpose. The first chapter of the letter of James offers help for understanding trials of all kinds. Join me as I share 3 ways God uses suffering in our lives.

Guilty of a common misconception among Christians, I thought when I became a Christian, obeyed God, and performed good works, God would exclude me from suffering.

For many years I angrily questioned God regarding the suffering in my life. Inflicted with the same malady many Christians have; "entitlement", I failed in seeing any good purpose for pain in my life.

Considering James 1:2-4, God reminds us to "count it all joy”,  when facing trials because we know God is perfecting our faith. We learn on the other side of the suffering, when it completes its perfect work in us, we find joy.

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.  Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

James 1:2-4



Understanding 3 ways God uses suffering in your life helps you view trials from a different perspective.


Suffering Produces Perseverance

Testing in the furnace of suffering, yields perseverance or endurance. Not the “grit your teeth” and bear it resignation type of endurance; this perseverance results in a patient but active waiting. The type of perseverance produced by pain offers a hope-filled perspective.

The same testing of your faith producing perseverance, also strengthens your faith. Until you experience pain and suffering you rely on your own strength. When you walk through dark valleys you learn to know God more deeply and your faith becomes strong.

Suffering Produces Maturity

A second way God uses suffering in your life, encourages maturity. Knowing God more deeply helps you understand His good and sovereign purposes in pain and suffering. We no longer whine and complain like little children over every inconvenience.

Hardship builds character, integrity, and mental toughness. Allowing a broader perspective than our myopic little worlds.

Suffering Produces Humility

Without pain you cannot fully experience joy; nor understand hope. Apart from pain and suffering you remain self-sufficient and self-focused, and even “God forgetful”. Suffering reminds you of your need for God and the truth that you have no real control over life’s events. Pain heightens our awareness of what is truly important.


While accepting pain and suffering in my own life is never easy, knowing God has a loving purpose for it helps.

Though not always the author of pain and suffering in my life, God often allows it for my good and His ultimate glory. Lovingly the God of all comfort, He strengthens, and walks with me in every trial.

Pain and suffering revealed selfishness, anger, unkindness, and unforgiveness in my heart. The continual work of trials slowly replaces the hardness of these traits with the softness of compassion, empathy and forgiveness. Through the process of pain and suffering, God removes the harshness of sin, revealing His glory in me.

Which of the 3 ways God uses suffering most comforts you?


Find more encouragement and FREE Resources at Serenity in Suffering!


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  1. Producing perseverance is so beneficial in my life. I tend to be someone who likes things done now. Trials that cause me to wait on the Lord are good for me.

  2. Yes, we grow through suffering and we can use our experience to help others.


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