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How to Overcome the 2 Colossal Lies You Believe about Suffering

  • Britnee Bradshaw
How to Overcome the 2 Colossal Lies You Believe about Suffering

I’m fascinated by the truth of God’s word and how it completely eradicates the lies that seem to bombard us in life. In light of truth, no lie can stand. However, in absence of truth, lies can and will, attempt to overtake our lives when we choose to believe them.

The wonderful news is that we have a choice. We have a choice to believe the lies fed to us or the truth planted within us. For every circumstance we encounter, there is a lie and a truth waiting for us to choose it. Very often, what we choose to hold fast to is what ends up dictating our actions. If we aren’t careful, we can end up allowing a single lie to impact the entire course of our lives.

When it comes to suffering, there are a lot of lies that are perpetuated by the world, and even within the church. I want to shed some light of God’s truth on these areas so that people can be freed from them!

Maybe you are going through a season where you are suffering or you know someone who is and you want to know how to help and pray for them. I hope this article helps you understand the way God see your situation and that you can filter the suffering you’re experience through His love for you.

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Lie #1: "I don’t have to suffer as a believer."

Lie #1: "I don’t have to suffer as a believer."

This misconception in Christian culture perpetuates the lie that since we’ve accepted Christ as our personal savior, we don’t have to experience suffering. The truth is, though, that suffering, hardship, going through difficult moments, and having to love difficult people are all things that we have to do. Why?

Because these things make us more like Jesus. They test our hearts, the way reveal the actual thoughts that we think about our brothers and sisters, and they show us how mature we are in the Lord.

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Truth: Suffering is an opportunity to become more like Christ.

Truth: Suffering is an opportunity to become more like Christ.

With that said, because we sometimes choose the lie over the truth in this area, the lie corrodes our faith in God. Many people have walked away from the faith because they weren’t able to reconcile a good and just God with the sufferings that many, who call Christ their king, have to endure.

More often than not, the difficult things that we go through don’t seem fair.

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Truth: Believers will suffer.

Truth: Believers will suffer.

As a believer, suffering is part of our walk. When Jesus was on this earth, he told his disciples this, “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33). Jesus knew that those who followed him would have to turn away from the lusts, the comforts, and the passions of the world, and that in so doing, there would be suffering that they’d have to endure while living amongst those things. To deny our flesh of the very things it craves can be painful.

Jesus also knew that since we live in a fallen world, there would be a measure of affliction we’d experience for choosing to live only for him while loving everyone around us, whether they’ve been saved or not.

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Truth: Believers can experience joy even in suffering.

Truth: Believers can experience joy even in suffering.

Surely, we should understand and expect suffering in this life because Jesus told us that we would experience it! Surely, we should know that we can have joy in the midst of our trials and tribulations because of the perfecting work that these things do within us.

But sometimes, in light of my own struggles and sufferings, I forget about the redemptive blood of Jesus. Sometimes, the pain of my sufferings seem too great and the perfecting work of Christ seems too far away—unreachable, even.

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Truth: The Holy Spirit helps believers endure suffering.

Truth: The Holy Spirit helps believers endure suffering.

It’s in these moments that I have to cling to the Holy Spirit and ask him to help me. These are the moments when I need to submit myself to Scripture so that I can let the truth shine its light on my experiences and feelings.

Galatians 5:22-23 tells us that one of the fruits of the Spirit is long-suffering. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” (KJV)

At the most surface level, we as believers are called to endure long suffering. This is an actual fruit that the Holy Spirit cultivates within our hearts. This is a hard one to accept a lot of the time, because who wants to willingly suffer? But, when we put it into perspective, we see that love is patient. That means that love will wait on others. Love will shoulder the burden of others for however long it takes to see them made free and whole. 

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"The more time we spend with the Holy Spirit, the more able we are to endure suffering."

"The more time we spend with the Holy Spirit, the more able we are to endure suffering."

This of course takes discernment to know what we should and should not wait for in long suffering. Many people want to know exactly when they should step away from a situation that is burdensome. To those people, I would say that they need to ask the Lord to reveal His will for the situation.

When it comes to long suffering, we aren’t left without an advocate to help us, even in those moments when we just feel like we are absolutely left to carry on in a situation by ourselves. But that in and of itself is a lie.

The Holy Spirit gives us what we need to endure the different situations that we face. The more time we spend with the Holy Spirit, the more able we are to endure suffering. Suffering comes with living for Jesus. This is pretty much a non-negotiable. We cannot believe the lie that we won’t ever suffer for the Gospel because in believing that, we are setting ourselves us with false expectations of what it means to follow Jesus.

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Lie #2. "I deserve to suffer due to my past and present mistakes."

Lie #2. "I deserve to suffer due to my past and present mistakes."

It’s important to understand the type of suffering that we as believers are called to experience. Suffering for following Christ and for being Christ-like in a situation is quite different than suffering due to our past sin and shame.

When Jesus died, he paid the full price for us to be freed from sin and death for all time. This means that anything in our lives that leads to sin and death or that comes from sin and death has been cleansed by the blood of Jesus in the Spirit.

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Truth: Jesus set us free.

Truth: Jesus set us free.

So many of us live under the canopy of pain and the weight of sin, shame, condemnation, and mistakes, but we do not have to. We’ve already been freed from these things through Jesus.

When we don’t believe the truth that we are in fact free, we believe the lie that tells us that we have to pay the price for things we’ve said, done, or that have been done to us. It tells us that we have a penalty to pay. This is so far from the truth, and it keeps us in a place of suffering that Jesus never called us to.

So many believers are sitting in prison cells in their hearts, minds, and bodies, and they don’t even realize that the chains they’re sitting in have already been broken by Jesus!

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Truth: Believers can renew their minds with the Word of God.

Truth: Believers can renew their minds with the Word of God.

Everyday, we have the opportunity to choose freedom in Christ for our lives. Everyday we get to choose and declare the blood of Jesus over our scars and brokenness.

If we want to walk in the mental and bodily freedom that Christ died for us to have, we have to wash ourselves daily with the Word of God. It’s the only way for us to renew our mind from who we used to be, and the way that we used to think.

"Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will." (Romans 12:2)

Walking daily in the Word will give us the arsenal we need to decree and declare the authority of God in our lives. It will give us the power to take every thought, that is contradictory to who God says we are and what we can do in him, captive and make it submit to Christ.

"We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." (2 Corinthians 10:5)

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Truth: God wants freedom for his children because he loves them.

Truth: God wants freedom for his children because he loves them.

We can believe rightly about suffering and what it means for us as Christians, and we can press through the pain (when it’s called for) with the help of the Holy Spirit. It’s the Father’s heart to see his children walking in freedom because he loves us so much. I pray that you would take some time to place any lie that you’ve believed in your life about suffering on the altar and allow God to give you his thinking so that you can walk in the freedom that is already yours.

In Jesus name, Amen!

Britnee Bradshaw is a free-spirited, Old Navy-wearin', coffee-shop lovin', wife and momma. She serves in the worship ministry with her husband at their home church in Glendale, AZ and writes with the sole purpose of pointing others to Christ. You can catch up with her on her blog or via social media @b_brdshw!

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