Every single one of us is going to suffer at one time or another, but the questions is: how are we going to go through that suffering. Are we going to suffer well or are we going to suffer poorly? Whether you are currently in the midst of suffering or want to learn how to suffer well, Jeff’s fifteen ideas will completely change the way you approach suffering in your life.
To find out more about the Fulfilled Bible Study recommended by Jeff in this episode go to Ascensionpress.com.
15 Things to Do in the Midst of Suffering
- Understand that we have been called to participate in the redemption of the world.
- “Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church” (Colossians1:24).
- “We know that in everything God works for good with those who love him, who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).
- Entrust yourself to God.
- “Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will do right and entrust their souls to a faithful creator and continue to do good” (1 Peter 4:19).
- Unite your will with the will of Christ through prayer.
- “And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt” (Matthew 26:39).
- Realize that Jesus will not allow you to go through something that you can’t handle.
- “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your strength, but with the temptation will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it”(1 Corinthians 10:13).
- Embrace the suffering, conscious of the fact that God’s grace is available, active and effective.
- “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ I will all the more gladly boast of my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me” (2 Corinthians 12:9).
- Go to confession. Focus on eliminating sin, which weakens your relationship with Jesus.
- “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us” (Hebrews 12:1).
- Participate on the paten during Mass. Offer you suffering up to God.
- The presentation of the offerings (the Offertory). Then, sometimes in procession, the bread and wine are brought to the altar; they will be offered by the priest in the name of Christ in the Eucharistic sacrifice in which they will become his body and blood. It is the very action of Christ at the Last Supper — “taking the bread and a cup.” “The Church alone offers this pure oblation to the Creator, when she offers what comes forth from his creation with thanksgiving.”The presentation of the offerings at the altar takes up the gesture of Melchizedek and commits the Creator’s gifts into the hands of Christ who, in his sacrifice, brings to perfection all human attempts to offer sacrifices” (CCC 1350).
- Avoid illegitimate suffering. Do not draw attention to yourself.
- “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by men. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you”(Matthew 6:5-6).
- Think of others and offer your suffering for them.
- “If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer”(2 Corinthians 1:6).
- Actively love by doing what is right according to your vocation.
- God who created man out of love also calls him to love the fundamental and innate vocation of every human being. For man is created in the image and likeness of God who is himself love. Since God created him man and woman, their mutual love becomes an image of the absolute and unfailing love with which God loves man. It is good, very good, in the Creator’s eyes. And this love which God blesses is intended to be fruitful and to be realized in the common work of watching over creation: “And God blessed them, and God said to them: ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it’” (CCC 1604).
- Christ’s whole life is a mystery of recapitulation. All Jesus did, said and suffered had for its aim restoring fallen man to his original vocation: When Christ became incarnate and was made man, he recapitulated in himself the long history of mankind and procured for us a “short cut” to salvation, so that what we had lost in Adam, that is, being in the image and likeness of God, we might recover in Christ Jesus. For this reason Christ experienced all the stages of life, thereby giving communion with God to all men.
- Pray the Rosary – Walk the passion of Christ with Our Lady.
- “It beats the rhythm of human life…” Pope John Paul II
- You can pray the rosary anywhere.
- Study the Saints.
- We know that in everything God works for good for those who love him.” The constant witness of the saints confirms this truth” (CCC 313).
- By canonizing some of the faithful, i.e., by solemnly proclaiming that they practiced heroic virtue and lived in fidelity to God’s grace, the Church recognizes the power of the Spirit of holiness within her and sustains the hope of believers by proposing the saints to them as models and intercessors. “The saints have always been the source and origin of renewal in the most difficult moments in the Church’s history.” Indeed, “holiness is the hidden source and infallible measure of her apostolic activity and missionary zeal” (CCC 828).
- By keeping the memorials of the saints – first of all the holy Mother of God, then the apostles, the martyrs, and other saints – on fixed days of the liturgical year, the Church on earth shows that she is united with the liturgy of heaven. She gives glory to Christ for having accomplished his salvation in his glorified members; their example encourages her on her way to the Father” (CCC 1195).
- Rejoice that you can share in the redemption of the world.
- “But rejoice in so far as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed” (1 Peter 4:13).
- Keep an eternal perspective.
- “He has made everything beautiful in its time; also he has put eternity into man’s mind, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end” (Ecclesiastes 3:11).
- “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal” (Matthew 6:19-20).
- “And if children, then heirs, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him” (Romans 8:17).
- Trust God for the fruit of your suffering.
- “So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor” (1 Corinthians 3:7-8).
- “He considered abuse suffered for the Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he looked to the reward” (Hebrews 11:26).
We’d Love to Hear from You
Do you have comments or questions for Jeff? Use the comment box below, or email Jeff at firstname.lastname@example.org. You may hear your question or comment in an upcoming podcast episode!
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