“For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.” (2 Corinthians 8:9)
Insights on Human Suffering and how my relationship with Jesus and his teachings have helped me change how I perceive my human suffering:
“I realized I exhausted all carnal methods to remedy my human suffering and it led me to further unnecessary suffering.”
Jesus altered my perception regarding my human suffering: Jesus transformed my perception of human suffering and altered how I viewed my life by giving me an understanding that human suffering is inescapable, unavoidable and doesn’t discriminate. Suffering happens even behind the “Picture Perfect, White Picket Fence.”
I now see benefits from my own personal suffering as a means of Jesus developing my trust as he leads me through life trials via “faith practice.”
Developed an understanding that “Seasons Change” – I Realized life has many seasons and if I’m suffering now, the season is temporary and I can pray for peace, rest and to try to find gratitude even in seasons of suffering. Understanding that everyone is operating in different seasons. Ecclesiastes 3:1 (KJV) To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: 2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; 3 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; 5 A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; 6 A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; 7 A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; 8 A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace
Developed an insight through Jesus’s teachings on how coveting leads to further “unnecessary suffering.” Staying in a consistent momentum of wanting more can cause heaviness, discontent and lead people to sin.
Jesus warns us in the Bible about the dangers of coveting:
Exodus 20:17 (KJV) Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.
Matthew 6:19-21 (KJV)
19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: 20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: 21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
JESUS provides biblical guidance on how to live and we can negate unnecessary suffering through obedience to God’s word. I believe the spiritual teachings help us reach the “abundant life” that is depicted in John 10:10 “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
“All things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28 KJV)
Proverbs 31:17 She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms.
Developed an insight that God built our bodies to require physical activity and that exercise is medicinal. Women and men during biblical times were exposed to physical labor that we don’t have to participate in today, given all the technological advances. People often live sedentary lifestyles and a large majority work behind computers. The natural endorphins that were once forced to be released; by doing activities like carrying well water on your head, washing laundry in a river, walking with a donkey to the market place for groceries, helping in the crops, making fires to prepare food etc. are activities no longer necessary today.
Exercise naturally boosts endorphins and helps the mood and for most isn’t being triggered as we can bypass physical labor and have food prepared and delivered to our doors with a phone application. Groceries can be ordered and delivered and clothes are cleaned via machine and for some people sent to the dry cleaners. Exercise is no longer mandatory as it was when Timothy stated “exercise profits little” in 1 Timothy 4:8. Exercise today for most people is voluntary and it’s up to each individual if they’d like the natural benefits exercise has on their Holy temples.
I battled most my life with the complications that come with “human suffering” and I exhausted all forms of carnal (worldly) methods, to ease, numb or avoid human suffering. My experience, was unfathomably, unfavorable. God provided me the courage to walk away from the worldly (carnal) methods of dealing with human suffering in December 2015. I turned to the word of God; nutrition, exercise, prayer, developing a relationship with Jesus, utilizing God’s word by saying biblical affirmations for strength, support, love, comfort, and altering my perception of human suffering.
“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” (1 Peter 5:8 KJV)
In August 2015 my life changed after my mother’s sudden death. It was an intense shock; she left behind a husband and seven children. I was a single mother, fearful, grieving and in crisis. I had lost my mother, my one true comfort blanket and felt completely alone and abandoned.
The amount of emotional pain I endured during this period was surreal. The pain was so intense it made me physically sick and I felt my heart was absent and there was this huge black hole in its place. I thought I’d never be free of the pain.
Shortly after my mother’s death, I had a dream about her. I was sitting with her outside in the backyard of her home. My mother didn’t say anything to me, and I just stared at her. Oddly, she didn’t resemble the way she looked prior to her death. In the dream, she looked 25 years younger, and appeared to be in her early 30s. My mother was beautiful, healthy, glowing and full of life.
In my dream her expression was not ecstatic, or elated with happiness. It didn’t appear that she was overjoyed; I think she appeared to be extremely content and obtained this overwhelming sense of peace. I hugged her in the dream and suddenly awoke and began sobbing upon the realization it was in fact, merely a dream and she was no longer alive. The dream moved me emotionally and peaked my interest in fellowshipping with Jesus Christ.
My mind kept remembering my mother’s facial expression in the dream and I was fixated on the level of peace that she embodied. I grew up with Jesus being discussed in my home; in fact, as a small child was introduced to prayer by my mother, attended Sunday school and learned about Jesus. Yet, I could hardly state that I ever had a real profound, intimate relationship with him. I’d pray on occasion, really only when in deep crisis, need, or when in trouble.
After about a month post my mother’s death, I was still suffering intense emotional anguish and I fell to my knees and I started crying out to God in repentance. After a while I was laying on my floor sobbing and I begged God to please change me because I couldn’t stand the suffering anymore.
An unexpected transformative process proceeded after and Jesus led me away from carnal (worldly) methods to deal with human suffering, changed my former pessimistic view of how I perceived my suffering and his word became comfort and strength to me in times of suffering. I felt as though he led me to sermons on utube that he wanted me to hear, and I utilized utube search engines to type a subject of relevance to my trial and was able to hear a sermon from a pastor that was perfectly catered to any situation I was going through for emotional support.
Jesus made me feel afflicted or aware of the song lyrics that romanticized sin and I decided one day to shut the music off in my car and I’ve not turned it back on since. I personally like to maintain control over what I expose my mind to.
“I learned if I was going to stop a negative behavior, it’s common sense that I don’t program my mind with materials that’s romanticizing whatever the behavior is.”
Jesus also led me to water baptism. I was publicly baptized on April 23rd 2016.
(Deception) Everyone’s living behind a white picket fence & the only one suffering is you
I always knew other people suffered. Yet, deep in my mind, I felt that my suffering was different, it was somehow worse. It was a state of mind, that bred personal self-pity, often fueled a covetous spirit, resentment and other feelings that can make anyone depressed. When my mind grasped the idea that everyone may not suffer similarly, no human is free of suffering and it painfully surfaces in a variety of ways. Even some of the wealthiest people who swim in luxury and fame, overdose through self-numbing or even in some cases commit suicide. Suffering hurts everyone and no amount of money will free you of it.
Romans 8:17 (KJV)
17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. 18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (KJV)
16 Rejoice evermore. 17 Pray without ceasing. 18 In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
A couple years ago, I was looking at pictures online for something and I stumbled on a picture of a starving woman, holding what appeared to be her starving young son. I was deeply moved emotionally by the picture as being a mother to a son myself; I couldn’t imagine relating to that kind of suffering. I couldn’t even comprehend the emotions associated with watching your child cry in hunger and being completely powerless to provide for them. I couldn’t imagine the extent of pain, nor would I ever want to.
I was so impacted by the picture; I saved it in my phone. For a while, I utilized the picture as a tool when feeling sorrow, or discontent. The picture immediately moved me emotionally, and took me away from my negative mind-set and helped me back to a state of gratitude and in prayer for others and took me outside myself. (Taking an “it can always be worse assessment of any negative situation”)
Therefore take no thought, saying what shall we eat? Or what shall we drink? Or wherewithal shall we be clothed. (32) For after all these things do the Gentiles seek; for your heavenly Father knows that ye have need of all these things. (Matthew 6:31 KJV)
In the midst of any trial or challenging situation, I often envision Jesus is hanging me off a cliff by one arm, I’m screaming with terror as he continues to dangle me over the edge and just when I think my hands about to slip from his and he’s going to drop me, he pulls me up. I find these terrifying life situations to be the Lord’s Faith Building Training Exercises. After you’ve had so many terrifying experiences that God pulled you through just before you thought your world would come tumbling down, you develop a resilience as you become more and more trusting of the Lord.
My relationship with Jesus has changed my life in the sense that I rely on Jesus for help to strengthen me, comfort me and sometimes carry me through life trials. If I feel I need strength, comfort, love, peace, rest, courage, strategy, wisdom, understanding, a counselor, a provider, my go-to is Jesus. I can pray to Jesus, sing to Jesus, fellowship daily with Jesus, I feel loved by Jesus, I trust Jesus and I never feel alone because of my relationship with Jesus. Jesus relieves human suffering with his word and love. We can find strength in his story, encouragement, comfort and grace from his spirit to help us walk through any trial.
I couldn’t do it alone, yet I wholeheartedly feel, I can walk through it with Jesus.
No matter what I’m feeling, I can search for biblical verses that relate to the situation and verbally read the verses aloud until I’m consoled and comforted. I can call someone and pray about a situation, I can search an array of worldwide sermons from Pastors across the globe with content that is specific to my situation at any time of the day for support.
It took me losing my mother and my comfort blanket to utilize a relationship with Jesus Christ. I’m not alone, my comfort blanket, my God, Lord, Savior, Protector, Counselor, Inspiration, Teacher, Provider, Help, Comforter, Intercessor, is Jesus Christ and his love has made all the difference as I seek gratitude and joy even in the midst of “suffering season.”
All praises and glory to you, Great Master, Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!
Revelation 12:11 KJV And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto death.