Does God have a purpose for our suffering?
If you’re somebody who has faced some serious adversity throughout your life, you’re my people. Because I get it. I know what it is to walk through one difficulty after another.
We will suffer in this life. Some will suffer more than others but God brings good out of it. God’s purpose for us is to love. To love God and people.
Our mission is to love. Our purpose is how we love.
Romans 8:28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.
When we suffer, God can use that pain to equip us to better love others. Can you think of a time when somebody was hurting and you just couldn’t understand what the big deal was until one day you experienced that same kind of pain? It’s difficult for a healthy person to empathize with someone who has experienced serious health problems her whole life.
When I should have been in the prime of my life at 27 years old, I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. I had so much pain, fatigue, and other issues that I couldn’t work. I lost my insurance business and my house. There were days that I went without eating. I was dealing with a tremendous amount of depression and anxiety. There were a lot of people who judged me. They thought I was weak, lazy, or lying.
God has been healing me over time and although managing my health is a full-time job, I’ve become quite good at it and praise God, I’m pretty healthy now! God promises that He will make the sickness and despair that I faced, work together for my good, according to the purpose He has for me.
How can the fatigue, pain, depression, and anxiety that darkened so many of my years, work for my good and purpose?
I know how awful it is to suffer from serious health issues so I’m incredibly empathetic toward others who suffer that way too. Compassion is one of the fruits of love. With all the judgment and lack of understanding people with health issues have to constantly deal with, words of compassion serve as a great reprieve. I can love people by offering compassion.
The one thing I had the energy to do during those years that I was bedridden was study. I studied healthy eating, supplementation, therapies, drugs- if it had to do with health, I read it. I memorized a good amount of the Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine which has over 900 pages. I am now equipped with years of knowledge that not only brought me back to health but that I’ve been able to use to help others, including my husband, who has had to change his diet due to a recent heart attack. I can love people by sharing my knowledge.
The depression and anxiety had become separate issues that had to be overcome. Just like I had to learn new ways to be physically healthy, I had to learn new ways to be mentally and emotionally healthy. I’m using that experience and knowledge to help people through the articles I write weekly at Own Your Victory. I can love people by sharing my experience.
The good that God brought out of tremendous pain is that I am uniquely equipped to help others who are experiencing the same suffering that I had. This is my purpose. I can offer compassion, knowledge, and tools that help others heal and thrive. As horrible as it was to live with that sickness, oppositely, it is equally thrilling to have a part in helping others heal from that terrible pain.
That is some good stuff right there! God is good!
We don’t have to be healed or have come completely through the pain to still be there for others. Helping people still feels good and that offsets the pain a little. It serves as a great distraction too.
I know through my own experience that God is faithful to His promise to give me a fulfilling purpose from my suffering. My purpose is to love others by using the tools that God has given me through pain and suffering.
How has God equipped you to help others?
Ask God to give you insight as you answer these questions. These should point you in the direction of your purpose.
What knowledge have you gained from adversity?
What skills have you gained from adversity?
Who do you have compassion for?
When have you experienced the most joy helping people?
How did you help them?
Your suffering has uniquely equipped you to love others in a way that only you can because of your specific experience. Even in your difficulty, give thanks to God for what He will do because of it.
If you’re currently suffering, know that you have something to look forward to- a great purpose! You are being trained right now. Take time at the end of the day to think about what God is teaching you each day and write it down. You’ll need it!
How has God brought good from your suffering? How has your painful story turned into a fulfilling purpose? I want to hear from you! Tell me your story in the comments section.