Life Will Not Be Easy and Comfortable: the Way Suffering Is Good

Gold Brush Stroke

It’s difficult to accept suffering as a given, but it is. Whether we like it or not, God allows it, even ordains it. 

Yet who doesn’t do everything in their power to avoid it? I did. 

I tried to convince God that our family wasn’t equipped to handle a child with special needs.

I pleaded for the lives of my unborn children, certain He had made a mistake in taking them so soon.

I begged. I screamed. I ran away. I willed it not to be. For years, anyway I could, I tried to avoid hardships in my life.

Understandably I didn’t want to suffer then, and I really don’t relish the pain of it now.

However, the difference is now I know what a privilege it is to suffer with Christ.

rejoice in suffering

“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. 14 If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.” 1 Peter 4:12-14

Suffering in God’s Marvelous Plan?

That doesn’t mean I don’t grieve losses or struggle with a circumstance. 

But I know God uses everything I’m walking through to polish and refine me. That gives me hope and, yes, even joy. 

Yet it isn’t always easy. 

Thank God He encourages us with powerful examples of faithful sufferers like Joni Eareckson Tada. Joni became a quadriplegic at age 17 as a result of a diving accident. In the years since, she has endured many additional hardships. including breast cancer and chronic pain.

Yet she testifies that her trials and severe limitations have contributed to a more passionate faith and a deeper love for her Savior than she would have ever had without them. 

Why? Because she isn’t so blinded by the light of an easy earthly life that she misses the light of His glory at work and the brilliance of what is to come. Through her suffering, Joni has been shaped and molded and refined.

She isn't so blinded by the light of an easy earthly life that she misses the light of His glory at work. Share on X

Read the wisdom she gleaned from living so many years in hardship and experiencing the faithfulness of God through it all.

“Christians … have forgotten that life is designed to be difficult; it’s supposed to be hard; God has wired life to be frustrating and demanding. The Bible tells us so. Acts 14 explains that we must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of heaven. The truth is, no one shares in Christ’s crown who doesn’t first share in His sufferings. The surprising thing shouldn’t be the fiery ordeal God puts us through… the surprise should be that we don’t go through greater problems or go through more ordeals. We have bought into the devil’s lie that God’s purpose in redeeming us is to basically make our lives happy, all so healthy and always free of trouble. … The truth is the core of God’s plan is to rescue us from sin… God has redeemed us to first make us more like Christ, and that will take plenty of refining, plenty of testing and trials and no one – certainly not me – is above that marvelous plan of God’s.

Joy Anyway

Yes, troubles will come. Suffering is a real and given part of life. But such knowledge doesn’t have to make us miserable as Joni demonstrates.

If we believe God’s plan includes transforming us into a clearer likeness of Christ, we also realize trials must be a part of that transformation. We will not change if our lives are easy and comfortable. 

We can rejoice in our trials because we know Christ has gone before us, that He walks with us in the midst of it, and that He gives us understanding after it. 

We can rejoice in our trials because we are sharing in Christ’s suffering as we will share in His glory. 

We can rejoice in our trials because we are sharing in Christ's suffering as we will share in His glory. Share on X

We can rejoice in our trials because we know it will serve a Godly purpose, directly or indirectly.

I can’t give you specifics on how.

I can’t tell you that what you’re going through won’t hurt.

I won’t try to convince you that the circumstances themselves are good. 

But let me assure you that our God is at work in and through your struggles and pain to orchestrate great beauty, to bring about great glory.  

God is at work in and through your struggles and pain to orchestrate great beauty, to bring about great glory. Share on X

How can I be so certain? God has promised. And the Lord is faithful, ALWAYS, to keep His promises.

“In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 1:6-7 ESV

Reflections: Do you struggle with believing God wants the best for you? If not, how would you encourage someone who does struggle in this way? 

I’m excited to continue recording blessings this year. Since beginning over 3 years ago, I’ve counted more than 3,500 gifts in Ann Voskamp’s Joy Dare! What a blessing! So here we go in 2015: #3933–3953, read my entire list by clicking here.

  • *Finally got in some gardening–just pulling weeds, but it felt great to be out there; *Prep work commenced for VBS!; *Seeing the moon in the daytime sky
  • *Gathering of many friendly teacher faces I haven’t seen in a while; *Lovely scent of the highbush cranberry blossoms; *Those willing to give their all to keep me safe
  • A busy day that held many more-obvious gifts: *Finally connected again with Danny after several missed calls over the past week–so good to hear his voice; *Great piano recital after a little setback in getting there; *Half-hour walk in the intermittent rain with Rach squealing in delight the entire time
  • *Finally got in some gardening–just pulling weeds, but it felt great to be out there; *Prep work commenced for VBS!; *Seeing the moon in the daytime sky
  • *The blessing of waiting on the Lord: His timing is indeed perfect!; *A long-overdue date with hubby; *Beauty and peace of a high-top vineyard
  • Nettle-free Pooh Garden (Rach’s prairie garden)–after 2+ hours; Weeded vegetable garden; Sharing the work with 2 of my boys
  • VBS set is prepared; *An “angel” feeding my boy before he starved: thanks Darla!; *Crazy play with Zach and Rach
By His Grace,



  1. Cecelia Lester (Quiet Spirit) on June 2, 2015 at 2:37 pm

    Good message. God allows hardships into our lives so that we can grow stronger and can face events that come later on. We never would become the strong people of God if he didn’t allow those trying times in.

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Julie Sunne

Hello, I'm Julie, an imperfect wife and mother of four. Life in this broken world is not always easy. Yet, joy can be found in each day through the grace and mercy of the Lord Jesus Christ.

I find it's easy for our day's blessings to get lost in its happenings. But God's "mercies never end" (Lamentations 3:22) and His "grace is sufficient" (2 Corinthians 12:9).

May the posts and pages on this site offer you a measure of peace and encouragement.

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