Struggles and Suffering — Morning Devotions - Hope 103.2

Struggles and Suffering — Morning Devotions

When faced with suffering, many of us cry to God in frustration asking why? However, these times can be way more beneficial than the good times.

By Chris WittsWednesday 22 Feb 2023Morning Devotions with Chris WittsFaithReading Time: 1 minute

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Malcolm Muggeridge was one of great Britain’s most well-known, respected journalists and television personalities. He had interviewed practically every major public figure of his time, but he shocked the world with his conversion to Christianity. Later in life, he said, “I’ve known more of God in times of struggle and suffering than in times of brightness and light.” When I saw that statement in a book that I was reading, I stopped and thought, wow, that’s very true.

It has a ring of truth about it. I have known more about God in times of struggling and suffering that in times of brightness and life, we all struggle with something in our life if we’re honest, and I’m sure that not one person is immune from it, and our problem is not so much if we will have struggles, but when it will happen. Now it’s fashionable to trot out some phrases like no winter lasts forever. While there is life, there is hope, but often they don’t mean much. They’re just platitudes to hide what’s really going.

If you think of loss in whatever form it is. It’s as much a part of normal life as birth, just as surely as you were born into the world. We will suffer loss when we die. Jerry Switzer is a professor of religion at Whitworth College in Washington. The US He was involved in a terrible car accident one evening when a drunk driver smashed into his minivan. He’d been married to his wife, Linda, for 20 years. She was killed, as was his mother and their four-year-old daughter, Diana. So three generations of one family wiped out on a terrible night. Years later, he wrote a book called ‘A Grace Disguised How the Soul Grows through Loss’. Here’s what he said. “Deep sorrow often has the effect of stripping life of pretence, vanity and waste, and it forces us to ask basic questions about what is important in life. Suffering can help me lead to a simpler life,” and that’s why, he said, “many people who suffer sudden and severe loss often become different people.

I had to ask what kind of person am I? Have I used my resources, my money, my time and my talent. Where am I headed with my life. So here he was. Jerry Switzer had found that life had the final word, not death and despair, despite his own personal tragedy. It’s true we don’t always get the life we want, but we can find there is much more to life than what we want and a life beyond this that exceeds our greatest desires.

So are suffering in a strange way can help us to help others who say, “Have you ever thought about that?” It can provide opportunity for others to share our suffering. They reach out in love and compassion. And it’s common for many people to offer this sincere support for the victims of loss straight after the incident. And many of these people try to get back to their own lives as usual afterwards. But it’s not an easy thing. It was Dale Carnegie who used to say most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.

Maybe, like Malcolm Muggeridge, you’ve been through hard times of suffering or struggle, and you wonder whether there is ever going to be any brightness or light. But God, our loving father knows what that means. He wants to share with you the hard times because the Bible says in Psalm 91 – “If you love me and really know who I am, I will rescue you and keep you safe. When you’re in trouble, call out to me. I will answer and be there to protect and honour you.”

Let’s Pray

Heavenly Father, I pray for those who are going through struggles of some kind today. It’s not easy, Lord. They often do it in silence. And I pray that your love and your comfort will be real to them today. In some form it could be me who is able to help them. Amen.

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