Suffering is a personal thing which we all handle differently; we respond to the variety of problems we encounter in our own way. In this present, imperfect world, we are all challenged by the things which happen, over many of which we have no control. How then do we cope? The challenge to which we can respond is whether or not to use Bible teaching to help us with such difficulties, such sorrow. It may be tempting to respond in an angry or violent way in the face of what might seem like an injustice, but God shows us better ways:
No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.
1 Corinthians 10:13
Put your faith in God – we can bear it when we accept that God can guide us. This helps to avoid being caught in a vicious circle which only increases stress and anguish.
Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.
Pray without ceasing.
1 Thessalonians 5:17
Revelation 14:12 Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.
We can look at Jesus himself, who knew that it was his fate to be crucified at the hands of men. Consider this burden which he had to bear, and see what can be learned from his example – he felt understandable anguish from his situation. He could have fled, but he knew, as we can find out from the Bible message, why this would go against God’s purpose for the faithful. He went with his disciples to the peaceful Garden of Gethsemane to pray:
And he came out, and went, as he was wont, to the mount of Olives; and his disciples also followed him. And when he was at the place, he said unto them, Pray that ye enter not into temptation. And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him. And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground. And when he rose up from prayer, and was come to his disciples, he found them sleeping for sorrow, And said unto them, Why sleep ye? rise and pray, lest ye enter into temptation.
After this, Jesus went to meet his betrayer; he was able to cope with the situation through prayer and meditation. By putting his trust in God he carries out what was expected of him, showing how we too can pray and meditate to deal with our problems. We can use these scriptural examples and others to help us both prepare for such difficulties we see coming in our lives, as well as helping us deal with them as they occur. Wonderfully, God tells us that a time will come when those who are guided by His word through this difficult age will be able to rejoice in a world which is changed for the better:
And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.