The Key to Suffering With Joy

Suffering with joy? Some have discovered the key.

suffering with joy

It seems once I begin to read such stories, I can’t put them down. Last night I finished Tortured for Christ by Richard Wurmbrand, a Christian pastor in Romania imprisoned and tortured under the Communist regime for 14 years. Despite my revulsion to the horrors Pastor Wurmbrand wrote of, I was riveted to the chapter describing the atrocities done to Christian men and women.

Certain questions tumbled through my mind: How could any human endure such horrendous suffering? How could they love their persecutors? How could they experience joy in such desperate conditions?

Would I have a strong enough faith to remain steadfast in my declaration of the love of Christ in the most abhorrent of conditions as tens of thousands of martyrs around the world have and continue to do?

This last question plagued me. I went to bed thinking about it and awoke still ruminating on it.

Find Joy Through Love

Reverend Wurmbrand provided the answer: “If the heart is cleansed by the love of Jesus Christ, and if the heart loves Him, one can resist all tortures.”

Jesus’ love is the key to survival. But there is more. Not only have thousands, tens of thousands, and hundreds of thousands of martyrs stood strong in their faith as they are systemically tortured and killed, but they die loving their persecutors—with joy? That goes against all human logic.

Pastor Wurmbrand explains the unexplainable this way: “… Christ loves them. So does every man who has the mind of Christ.”

So Jesus’ love is the key, not only to survival, but to loving the unlovable. 

Jesus' love is the key, not only to survival, but to loving the unlovable. Click To Tweet

Here in the West, Christians live in abundance and are allowed to worship freely, without concern about being arrested beaten. But we do face other struggles, heartache and pain as do all living in this fallen world.

As I experience suffering, I lean toward complaining and turning as quickly as possible from the pain. I certainly do not respond with joy.

However, Reverend Wurmbrand encourages us that trials are a part of who we are in Christ. And when they come, “we should not be surprised but rather should rejoice that we have been considered worthy to suffer for Christ.” (See Philippians 1:29)

So Jesus’ love is the key, not only to survival and loving the unlovable (including those who persecute us), but to experience joy in our suffering.

Jesus' love is the key, not only to survival and to love the unlovable, but to experience joy in our suffering as well. Click To Tweet

Mustard Seed of Faith

Jesus says we only need faith the size of a mustard seed to move mountains. I pray for that mustard seed of faith to carry my burdens joyfully; to see my suffering as Christ does, a light affliction; to allow the love of Jesus to permeate my life; and to let that love spill over to others, especially nonbelievers and adversaries.

I pray the same for you.

Being bathed in the love of Jesus Christ makes it all possible.

For our momentary light affliction is producing for us an absolutely incomparable eternal weight of glory. 2 Corinthians 4:17 HCSB.

Reflections: Have you let the love of Christ infiltrate your life? How has it changed you?

Linking with A Holy Experience community to share one thousand gifts and more (#759–#780 , click here to view all my one thousand gifts posts).

  • Christ’s transforming love; Canoeing/kayaking/fishing w/ 2 of my favorite “boys”; magnetism of sheer rock outcroppings
  • Hubby sacrificing to allow me time to write; Book progress; Death’s defeat
  • Thoughtful hubby & son brought lunch while I worked; Obtaining 1st critique on chps. in progress; Lost butterfly
  • Soaking feet in 48 degree water during 90 degree air temp; Linking up w/ #SheSpeaks sisters; Lord’s steadfast control
  • Time spent 1 on 1 w/ my sister; Being w/courageous cancer survivors at Relay for Life; Received much-needed rain
  • 6 a.m. ping pong drop at Relay for Life; Progress in fight against cancer; Tiny white fluffy flying things: really!
  • First chapter written–praise God!; Jesus’ victory over death; Helping hands with dishes; Raspberry/yogurt parfaits

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By His grace ≈


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Find hope in your real-life struggles. We'll chase it together! I am a wife; mom of 4 (including a young adult daughter with special needs); miscarriage mom of 5; author & follower of Jesus Christ. I write, edit, speak and enjoy everything outdoors.

6 comments on “The Key to Suffering With Joy
  1. Julie,

    Nice to meet you. 🙂 I’m popping over from Ann’s site to count gifts with you. Wurmbrand’s book is powerful, I agree. Seeing Jesus’ power to dissolve hate and to flow forgiveness and love for enemies amazes and humbles me.

    Have a great week.

    Jennifer Dougan

    • juliesunne says:

      Glad you popped in, Jennifer! The power of Jesus to overcome evil and transform lives is mind-boggling (to borrow a technical term). To Him be the glory.

  2. Christina says:

    I have had the same thoughts when I’ve read similar types of stories. Could I? Would I? I think the love of Christ is key. Great post and challenging thoughts! So glad I stopped by:)

  3. Amy Alves says:

    Morning Miss Julie!
    I too, enjoy the depth of others stories. It brings our lives into perspective doesn’t it? Thank you for sharing your heart here! I am embracing my challenges today and thanking God for them! Have an awesome, God inspired day! ~ Blessings, Amy

    • juliesunne says:

      Good morning/almost afternoon, Amy. We get so caught up in our own immediate needs, we lose the big picture–God’s picture. Thankfully, God continues to bring us around. Blessings, Friend.

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