Nine Powerful Principles to Endure Suffering

Nancy Leigh DeMoss

No one enjoys suffering, but suffering is a necessary, normal part of the Christian life. In fact, the Scripture says we can expect hardships and suffering to increase (2 Tim. 2:3; 3:1-4, 13), so we must be prepared.

We learn from the book of 2 Timothy that we may experience suffering when we are rejected or left alone (2 Tim. 1:15; 4:9-11; 4:16), or as a natural consequence to our fleshly, worldly desires (2 Tim. 2:22).

Suffering will indeed come, but God can give us grace and power to overcome every trial and to fulfill our purpose and mission in His kingdom. In his second epistle to Timothy, the Apostle Paul shares some important truths about how we can endure suffering.

Nine Principles for Enduring Suffering

1. Remember that you are a prisoner of Christ, not of your circumstances or other people. (2 Tim. 1:8)

2. Keep going back to the things you know to be true from God’s Word. Don’t doubt in the dark what you have seen in the light. Remember what you received as a result of your salvation in Christ (2 Tim. 1:5). Remember your calling and the grace of God (2 Tim. 1:1, 9-13).

3. Keep doing whatever God has called you to do. Persevere, stay the course, and be faithful, regardless of any opposition or hardship. (2 Tim. 4:1-5)

4. Remember times in the past when the Lord delivered or rescued you. Be quick to praise Him and testify to others (2 Tim. 3:11; 4:16-17).

5. Rely on the resources God has given you:

  • The grace of God (2 Tim. 1:2, 9; 2:1; 4:22).
  • The gift of God—your God-given ability to serve Him (2 Tim. 1:6-7).

6. Remember that you are not alone in your suffering.

You already have:

7. Cultivate these to help you endure:

  • Godly helpers – Find and cultivate a group of like-minded believers whose faithfulness and prayers can inspire and strengthen you (2 Tim. 1:2, 4-5; 4:9-13, 19-21).
  • Godly heroes – Read the biographies of missionaries and other faithful believers so God can cultivate faith and wisdom in your heart (Heb. 13:7; 2 Tim. 3:10, 14).
  • Godly heritage – As you learn about those who’ve gone before, you will be able to instill faith and courage in the next generation. Pass the baton to others. (2 Tim. 2:2)

8. No matter how difficult things are today, you can face the future with hope. Trust the truth of Scripture.

The Truth is:

  • All wrongs will one day be righted (2 Tim. 3:8-9; 4:14).
  • The Lord will deliver you from all evil—in His time and way (2 Tim. 4:17-18). In the meantime, counsel your heart according to the truth and promises of God (Psalm 27).
  • All your suffering, efforts, labors, and faithfulness will be rewarded in “that Day” when believers stand before the Lord (2 Tim. 1:12, 18; 2:12; 4:8; Phil. 1:6, 10; 2:16; James 1:12).
  • You will give an account, so guard the “deposit” entrusted to you (2 Tim. 1:12, 14; 1 Tim. 6:20).

9. In all your suffering, remember Jesus Christ.

Remember:

Expect suffering—it is inevitable—but don’t forget the powerful resource that you have in Christ. Entrust your life to His ever-present care and control. He loves you, and He will help you endure.

Source:  Excerpts from https://www.biblestudytools.com/bible-study/topical-studies/how-to-endure-suffering.html

The Story of the Ugly Brown Stain

A true story that took place years ago in the Highlands of Scotland.  A group of fisherman sat around a table in a small pub, telling their “fish stories.”  As one of the men flung out his arms to more vividly describe the fish that go away, he accidentally hit the tray of drinks that the young barmaid was bringing to the table.

The tray and the drinks sailed through the air, crash-landing against the newly white-washed wall.  As the sound of smashed glass and splashing beer permeated the room, the pub became silent as all eyes turned to the ugly brown stain that was forming on the wall.

Before anyone could recover from the startling interruption, a guest who had been sitting quietly by himself in the corner jumped up, pulled a piece of charcoal from his pocket, and began to quickly sketch around the ugly brown stain.  To the amazement of everyone present, right before their eyes the stain was transformed in a magnificent stag with antlers outstretched, racing across a highland meadow.  Then the guest signed his impromptu work of art.  His name was Sir Edwin Landseer, Great Britain’s foremost wildlife artist.

God transforms lives as Sir Landseer transformed the ugly mess on that pub wall.  What ugly brown stain does your life bear?  Were you abused as a child?  Have you abused someone else’s child?  Or your own?  Have you been raped?  Have you been the victim of a violent crime?  Have you had an abortion? Or performed one?  Have you committed adultery?  Or seduced someone else to do so?  Is there a nasty addiction in your life to drugs?  Alcohol?  Pornography? 

Regardless of what the stain is, submit it to God you must be willing to turn away from any and all sin.  Period.  God excels in transforming ugly brown stains into beauty marks when we surrender them to Him.  He will bring peace and freedom to you and glory to Himself.  And when we get to heaven there will be no more scars and no more suffering of any kind, including the kind that inflicted the wound that has scarred your life.

Anne Graham Lotz, “Heaven, My Father’s House”

The Legend of the Cherokee Indian Youth’s Rite of Passage

His father takes him into the forest, blindfolds him and leaves him alone.  He is required to sit on a stump the whole night and not remove the blindfold until the rays of the morning sun shine through it.  He cannot cry out for help to anyone. 

Once he survives the night, he is a MAN.   He cannot tell the other boys of this experience, because each lad must come into manhood on his own.   The boy is naturally terrified. He can hear all kinds of noises. Wild beasts must surely be all around him. Maybe even some human might do him harm. The wind blew the grass and earth, and shook his stump, but he sat stoically, never removing the blindfold. It would be the only way he could become a man!
Finally, after a horrific night the sun appeared and he removed his blindfold. It was then that he discovered his father sitting on the stump next to him.  He had been at watch the entire night, protecting his son from harm.   

We, too, are never alone. Even when we don’t know it, God is watching over us, Sitting on the stump beside us. When trouble comes, all we have to do is reach out to Him.    

Moral of the Story:
Just because you can’t see God, doesn’t mean He is not there.
“For we walk by faith, not by sight.” 

Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply.  Speak kindly. Leave the rest to God.

Mercedes Benz Story – We Have No Record

A man from London was vacationing in France, driving his Mercedes Benz automobile, when he heard a loud bang, and his car veered off the road.  He called a tow truck, which towed him to the nearest town with a Mercedes dealership.  The mechanic discovered that the rear axle was broken, and a day later was able to fix it. 

After a few more days of vacation, the man returned to London with his car.  As the car’s warranty was no longer good, he expected to receive a bill for the car repair.  Three weeks went by, and he had not received a bill, so he wrote the dealership a letter.

A few days later he received a letter from the regional office of Mercedes Benz, stating: 

Dear Mr. Jones:

Thank you for your inquiry regarding a bill for work on your car.  We sincerely regret the inconvenience to you on your recent trip to France.  However, we have no record of a Mercedes Benz automobile ever breaking an axle. 

Have a nice day.

Best regards,

See, that’s how the Lord works – Satan stands before God with a list of our sins, accusing us of our sins before the holy, righteous God of the universe.  But we repent of our sins, God says to Satan:  WE HAVE NO RECORD OF ANY SINS COMMITTED BY THIS PERSON.

Depart from me, you evil creature!  And he pushes the trap door button, and Satan falls back down into the lake of fire.

That is the incredible loving and merciful God that we serve!

Motto for Walking with the Lord – STRIPES

“By His stripes we are healed…” Isaiah 53:5

S – Seek the Lord with all your heart, mind, and soul, leading to total surrender to His will; become a “hundred percenter” – 100% for the Lord.

T – ”Trust in the Lord with all your heart, mind, and soul, and lean not on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct    your path.”  Proverbs 3:5-6

R – Relationships are critical – with the Lord and with those around us.

I – Integrity is imperative; with integrity, we recognize the dignity of others, and retain our own.

P – Playmaker – be a playmaker in other people’s lives; seek to be a vehicle for the Lord’s love, joy, and power.  I am the glove; He is the hand (the hand of the Lord).

E – Expect God to do incredible things through you.

S – Share God’s love with everyone who comes across your path.

Incredible Quotes

Remember that everyone you meet is afraid of something, loves something, and has lost something. H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Security is mostly a superstition.  It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it.  Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure.  Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.  Helen Keller

Life isn’t measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.  Anonymous

Death is more universal than life.  Everyone dies, but not everyone lives.                                                                                                  Alan Sachs

They may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel. Carl W. Buechner

I know God will not give me anything I cannot handle.  I just wish He didn’t trust me so much.                                                                      Mother Teresa

Don’t ask what the world needs.  Ask what makes you come alive and go do it.  Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.                                                                                                            Howard Thurma

It’s never too late to be what you might have been. George Eliot

You don’t have a soul.  You are a soul.  You have a body. C.S. Lewis

You formed us for Yourself, and our hearts are restless till they find rest in You. Saint Augustine

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.  It turns what we have into enough, and more.  It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order,  confusion to clarity.  It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, and a stranger into a friend. Melody Beattie

Shoot for the moon.  Even if you miss, you’ll still be among the stars.  Les Brown                 

The place where God calls you is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s hunger meet. Frederick Buechner

How does one become a butterfly?  You must want to fly so much that you are willing to give up being a caterpillar. Trina Paulus

Pain is inevitable, but misery is optional.  We cannot avoid pain, but we can avoid joy. Tim Hansel

Attempt great things for God.  Expect great things from God. William Carey

He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose. Jim Elliot

When you were born, you were crying and everyone around you was smiling.  Live your life so that when you die, you will be smiling and everyone around you will be crying.  Anonymous

Source:  Thirty Days to Live