For the past few weeks, I’ve had the privilege of teaching adult Sunday school at my church. We had a wonderful seven weeks of learning about biblical joy. Interesting enough, session six was about maintaining joy in the midst of suffering. Most would think joy and suffering could not exist in the same person at the same time, but that’s not true. Although we live in this fallen world and suffering is inevitable, as believers we also have the gift of joy as a fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).
This gift is not dependent on our current circumstance but the fact that our Heavenly Father gave it to us. Still, it’s a challenging concept to grasp as I’ve learned that many Christians sometimes have misconceptions about suffering. We accept Christ thinking all the benefits of a relationship with Him and the fruits of the Spirit exempt us from suffering. This thinking, however, is harmful because guess what? Believers still suffer on this side of eternity.
Now, this does not mean God has forgotten us. It means He’s with us during both the good and the bad. Actually, suffering itself provides gifts for the believer that you may find encouraging. Here are five gifts that result from seasons of suffering.
Photo Credit: Unsplash/RyanKing999