I think a lot about people who have real suffering and suffer real hate. It takes me out of myself. It lets me see that while I have suffering, I don’t really have that much. It’s surface suffering.
Suffering is legitimate. we are promised suffering. I want my suffering to have meaning. I don’t want it to go to waste.
So, in Hebrews I was given a take on suffering that helps to ground me.
Before I paste the verses, I have to say that I once asked a fellow Christian if they would renounce Christ in order to stay alive. That person said they would pray and ask what God’s will was. I have to say, I think when facing death, we might hear God say that it’s ok to renounce him. I don’t know.
But others were tortured, refusing to turn from God in order to be set free. They placed their hope in a better life after the resurrection. 36 Some were jeered at, and their backs were cut open with whips. Others were chained in prisons. 37 Some died by stoning, some were sawed in half,* and others were killed with the sword. Some went about wearing skins of sheep and goats, destitute and oppressed and mistreated. 38 They were too good for this world, wandering over deserts and mountains, hiding in caves and holes in the ground.
Tyndale House Publishers. (2013). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Heb 11:35–38). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.
We suffer and we believe.