Mar 8, 2017 by


How to access transformation in suffering

We often resist the idea of suffering because we can not or do not envision God’s transformation in the situation. Everything about it is framed by what we’ve known of suffering – the enveloping emotion, the fear, the unknown – and often we file it away in the “undesirable” folder because of that.

We feel vulnerable and subject to the oppressing force. But the hope in suffering with Christ is a different experience altogether.

Consider Jesus on the cross, asking his Father to forgive those crucifying Him. He was manifesting love and mercy in the midst of the most crushing moment in history. So then, what is our hope? It is this same response. It is a heart transformation so massive, so complete, so radical that being attacked, belittled, mistreated, beaten, abused, crushed, stolen from, persecuted and wronged all result in the same response. Love. Mercy. Life.

When a person or situation cannot control our response, but instead is met with the manifestation of Jesus (that is the Glory of God), then we have a tangible rejoicing in suffering. That place, that mind and that heart, is pure freedom, led only by the heart of God. There is no longer fear in suffering, there is rejoicing and there is hope. 

It works for every situation, and that’s how we grow in it. We continue in the renewing of our minds. Our thinking shifts from, “I wish the enemy would stop messing with me” and “why does this always happen to me” to “every time the enemy messes with me, he’s gonna see Jesus spill out all over the situation.” 

As long as the enemy is able to evoke a response of doubt, anger, fear and confusion when he prods us, he will continue to do it. Repeatedly. But if, when he jabs, what comes out is worship, is faith, is the Word of God and truth, it utterly obliterates his plans for our lives.

Repetition of this faith-response results in the radical transformation of the heart. We allow God to remove the hooks of the world that tear at us and incite responses we would never choose to give in a right mind.

As we mature in this truth, fear and the need for control becomes more and more a foreign thing, and suffering is embraced. Suffering even becomes the thing that accelerates the manifestation of Jesus in our lives; the thing that builds our lives on an unshakeable foundation.

This is the life of an overcomer, the testimony of Jesus. And it is beautiful.

12 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.1 Peter 4:12-13

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