Last week Katherine and Jay Wolfe spoke at our church. They shared their story about how they have and continue to suffer strong in the midst of the unwanted and horrific situations of the past that have brought them to where they are today.
Katherine shared a scripture that I wasn’t that familiar with. Isaiah 45:3 says, I will give you hidden treasures, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the LORD, the God of Israel, who summons you by name. That scripture reminds me of another one in Deuteronomy 29:29 The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law.
I have clung to that scripture over the years when things happen that I don’t understand. As a wife of an addict, you probably find comfort in that verse too.
So, here are the 5 ways to suffer strong. 1. Suffer strong by looking for scripture verses like the ones above to see how to walk this out.
One of the things I have heard both Katherine and Jay say, and can be found in their book Suffer Strong, is this, “Suffering is not the end of the story. It’s the beginning of a new one”.
What a way to look at suffering. I mean let’s be honest, we all suffer from many different situations and circumstances in life. Relationships, addictions, finances and health issues are some of the things we are faced with every day. Sometimes these things are small and seem more normal, but other times, the pain and suffering is off the charts.
2. Find people to walk with you and more importantly, find people you can walk with.
I am reminded of a post I wrote a few years ago called Tattered Gifts, the things in life we neither ask for or want, and yet somehow they still manage to give us gifts that make us stronger and more tender hearted. Bad things happen to good people. How we look at things can make all the difference. Walking with someone else when you are going through a hard time is indeed a gift to not only that person, but perhaps a bigger gift to you.
3. Work to look at your situation differently. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you eyes to see.
There are things you have lost, especially if you are the wife of an addict, that you will never regain this side of heaven. I don’t know why you had to go through what you have endured. I don’t know why you have suffered the losses you have encountered but God can use these situations for your good and His glory. I don’t know how or when but I know He wants to and He is more than able.
4. Grieve the things you have lost, knowing that some things will never be recovered while you are here. Grieving well will allow you to move forward and embrace the one and only life you have been given. Live it well.
As hard as we try to avoid suffering, especially in the United States, and as entitled as we feel to have a trouble-free life, that rarely happens. Life isn’t about what happens to you as much as it is about how you respond. There are very few things that you can control but there is one thing that is in your power of influence and that is how to respond to whatever comes your way.
5. Always remember that you get to decide how to respond to any situation that comes your way. No matter how hard or painful, no matter if you had any hand in what has transpired, you get to choose how to respond.
Those are my 5 ways to suffer strong. I’m sure there are more ways than those five, so don’t stop here! Find some other ways and please, share them with me when you do.
You were created for a purpose and nothing that has happened in your life is a mistake. God can take the hard things and make them work for your good and His glory.
Click on Katherine‘s name to watch her share her story on Youtube or even better, go to Southeastchristian.org and watch (or listen) to Katherine and Jay share their story together. You will be inspired to live your life well.