Here are three great ways to rejoice while you’re suffering.
When you are suffering from pain, a broken relationship, or financial difficulties, it’s hard to rejoice, isn’t it? In fact, these are the times when it’s the most difficult, however, in God’s view, rejoicing before God while you’re going through great suffering is precious in the sight of God. Job, who in the past had lost everything, including his ten children, said in his suffering, “Though he slay me, I will hope in him” (Job 13:15a). We can rejoice in these times of suffering because our hope is in Him and not in this present, evil world.
Strive to do what Habakkuk the Prophet did when he saw all that Israel was going through. He said, “Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD; I will take joy in the God of my salvation” (Hab 3:17-18). If we realize that Israel depended on agriculture and livestock for their sustenance, and that Habakkuk still took joy in his salvation, then even when things start to fall apart around us, we can ask the rhetorical question, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword” (Rom 8:35)? Obviously, the answer is no one or nothing can separate us from God.
For the child of God, no amount of suffering in this life can rob us of our joy if we don’t let it. The Apostle Paul often looked ahead to the glory that’s coming as he did in writing to the church at Rome, saying “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us” (Rom 8:18). He didn’t stop to look back but looked forward, writing “I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead” (Phil 3:13), and so he says, “I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil 3:14).
It’s not easy to rejoice in suffering, but it’s not impossible. Just think about what God has done for us in the past (John 3:16), what He is doing for us now, and what the future holds for us. That’s why “we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (Rom 8:28).