Peace in Suffering
All the people in their lives encounter pain and suffering. For some, it can be frequent and for some, it can be occasional. But one thing is for sure that it is inevitable. In this fallen world it is impossible to live without suffering and pain. At some point, everyone one of us comes into the clutches of suffering. It is like a bullet you cannot dodge.
There’s a lot of talk about inner peace from gurus and all. Some say it will be from chakras or in some herbs. But it changes what the Bible teaches, that true peace can only be found in the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Greek word Eirene which is used in the Bible for the word peace means “to join or tie together that which has been separated.” Inner peace then is a wholeness of mind and spirit, a whole heart at rest. Inner peace has little to do with external surroundings.
Philippians 4:7, “the peace of God which transcends all understanding.” Peace is a state of tranquility or quietness of spirit that transcends circumstances. The term peace is described in scripture as a gift of God and congruent with His character.
If God is peace, then to know God is to bask in His peace. The closer we draw to Him, the more of His peace we can enjoy. So how do we draw near enough to experience His peace? Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid” (John 14:27). We come into the presence of the Lord through His Son. When we allow Jesus’ death and resurrection to purchase our forgiveness from God, we are counted as righteous. When we let Jesus into our hearts, only when we have peace with God.
First, it’s important to acknowledge that God sees our suffering, and he can sympathize with us. Because Jesus Christ came to earth to dwell with us, he experienced all the human suffering that we have experienced, are experiencing, and will experience.
“Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:14-16
In our suffering, we receive comfort from God when we draw near to him. And we draw near to God through prayer, reading the Bible, and meditating on scripture.
Sorrow and grief are strong emotions that push us to reach out for comfort. However, it’s in those situations where finding comfort in God seems hopeless.
When we’re upset, grieving, and possibly angry, the God of all Comfort feels so far from us. Just the opposite is true. God wants to comfort us in our sorrow, and as we grieve, He is grieving as well.
We should always turn our focus to the creator of all and author of salvation instead of in the circumstances around us. Because we are in a boat whose captain is Jesus himself, and when the waves toss us around we have an anchor to hold onto. We know that God is in control and His sovereign will is coming to pass. Through the Holy Spirit, we are sealed as children of God for eternity. All of these truths bring us great comfort in times of need.
In Christ you'll have peace in the storm.
Lamentations 3:22-24 - “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. ‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘therefore I will hope in him.’”
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 - “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”
Psalms 30:5 – We may weep through the night, but at daybreak, it will turn into shouts of ecstatic joy.