“For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.” –2 Corinthians 1:5
How do we, as Christians, become people who can say with real honesty that we are happy or joy-filled even in the midst of suffering because we live in the kingdom of God? How could we be people like this? I believe we become this type of person when we come to understand that sometimes in the midst of our darkness, God helps us to learn, grow, and mature a great deal. And during that growth period, we learn not to make either of these two mistakes:
The FIRST mistake we must not make is to GET MAD AT GOD or think, well, God put this suffering on me, or God is punishing me to get back at me, or something similar to that.
The SECOND mistake that we must not make in the midst of suffering is to say, I must PRETEND THAT EVERYTHING IS FINE. I must stay busy, do things, wear masks, and pretend as if everything is happy.
If we make these mistakes, we deny the fact that Christ, himself, suffered and we miss solidarity with Him and each other. Too often in the church, we think that joy is an instant, over-the-counter, microwave thing that is given, rather than something that is gained through the perseverance of suffering and the hope that comes because of it.
PRAYER: Dear Lord, in the midst of my suffering, I will not blame you. And when I am in distress, I will not wear a mask of happiness, but be honest with you and others about my circumstances. Help me to gain joy through perseverance, facing all the trials of life with you by my side. Amen.
REFLECTION: When have you been mad at God? What do you do to try to hide your suffering from others?