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Suffering is not wasted; God allows it for a reason and it is intended to implement positive growth in our lives.

Affliction drives us to God’s word. If you seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and all your soul Deut 4:29 Nothing sends us to Gods word more quickly than when we are desperately seeking solace and comfort. Do we just want the pain to leave, or are we truly seeking to know him? The struggles and troubles in this life are only for a time; he is preparing us for eternity. Affliction drives us to prayer. If anyone of you is suffering, let him pray. James 5:13 Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. PS 107:6 We don’t need God when life is going well. We like to be independent and self sufficient. But, when times are desperate, it leads to desperate prayer. When we are helpless, we cry out to our Savior, and he delivers us from our anguish

Affliction humbles us. So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelation, a thorn was given to me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. 2 CO 12:7 We are reminded how fragile we are when afflictions hit us. It keeps our heart in a lowly place. It reminds us everything we have is a gift; our standing in life can be removed and turned upside down in a split second. Pride leads to a fall, but God gives grace to the humble. Affliction positions us to receive grace. Affliction makes us rely on Christ’s power. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weaknesses. “ Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly of my weakness, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 2 CO 12:9 When we realize how powerless we are, Jesus can display his might in our lives. When all our resources have been exhausted,Jesus will appear and bring his grace to soothe our burdened hearts. Affliction brings the comfort of God himself. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort,who comforts us in our affliction. 2 Co1:3 There are times when no human words can bring comfort. Our heart is broken; an agony that rips our humanity into pieces. But God himself will comfort us when we cry out to him in pain. He is the God of all comfort, the one who knows exactly what we need to comfort us in ALL affliction. He is the one who fashioned our hearts,and can put back the fragile broken pieces.

Affliction gives us compassion for others. Blessed be the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort others who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God 2 CO1;3 We know when someone has shared the same experience we are in, their words can bring comfort. They can understand the depth of our pain and loss. Though your pain is horrific now, someday, God will use you to bring comfort to those who need to know someone understands, walked a similar path and come out on the other side. Affliction produces endurance and patience. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance. RO 5:3 Unfortunately,the only way to build patience and endurance is by living in situations that require it. This is part of our maturing in Christ, often painful and usually difficult; it is required to grow up in our faith.

Affliction reminds us this world is not our home. For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come. Heb 13:14 In spite of our troubles and struggles, this world can be a good place. But, if it were always so, and we had not troubles or pain, we would never want to leave.

Affliction weans us from this world, reminds us there is a better place where we will see our Lord face to face and he will wipe every tear from our eyes.

Above all, trust in the slow work of God. We are quite naturally impatient in everything to reach the end without delay. We should like to skip the intermediate stages. We are impatient of being on the way to something unknown, something new. And yet it is the law of all progress that it is made by passing through some stages of instability— and that it may take a very long time. And so I think it is with you; your ideas mature gradually—let them grow, let them shape themselves, without undue haste. Don’t try to force them on, as though you could be today what time (that is to say, grace and circumstances acting on your own good will) will make of you tomorrow. Only God could say what this new spirit gradually forming within you will be. Give Our Lord the benefit of believing that his hand is leading you, and accept the anxiety of feeling yourself in suspense and incomplete. _______________________________________________ Works Cited Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, SJ excerpted from Hearts on Fire Some content from this article is from an unknown author Special thanks to Jeanean Parsons for finding the piece from Hearts on Fire

Barb Loftin is a Christian Life Coach who received her training at the Professional Christian Coaching Institute. She works with clients seeking transformation and spiritual growth. You can reach her at or by email at


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