Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | September 30, 2021

Joy In Suffering

“Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I do my share on behalf of His body, which is the Church, in filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions.” Colossians 1:24

Joy is one of those power-packed words in the English language. In fact, it’s hard to say this one-syllable noun (especially when said loudly) without its meaning spreading across your face. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines “joy” as the state, expression, or source of delight, happiness, bliss. For the believer, “joy” is more than mere happiness at circumstances. Rather, it’s an uncurrent of deep-seated satisfaction that comes from salvation. The confident hope of our forever future with Jesus. Joy is a fruit of the Spirit—in other words, it’s an outgrowth of our surrender to, and walk with, the Lord. Joy is to be an enduring attitude of the Christian.

This simple truth is not easy. And what’s even more challenging, sister, is the exhortation for us to have joy in our suffering. How on earth can suffering be a cause for our joy? Here are just a few reasons:

  • Suffering brings us closer to Jesus. Often, when we are going through a fiery time, we can find ourselves in desperation. Maybe we’ve tried turning to friends or family, but we’ve found no comfort (in fact, said friend or family member may be the source of the burning). We get to that “nowhere else to turn but Jesus” place—and we finally cling to the only Stronghold that brings refuge and peace.
  • Suffering helps us better appreciate Jesus’ suffering for us. Throughout His earthly ministry, Jesus was despised and persecuted. And on Calvary’s cross, He took on the agony and unimaginable pain meant for you and me. When we suffer in this world (especially for Christ), it gives us an infinitesimal taste of what Jesus went through for us, to rescue us from eternal suffering. And this understanding can also give us comfort, realizing that Jesus knows our pain, because He’s felt it all for us already.
  • Suffering assures us of our salvation. Jesus promised us that, as His followers, we will suffer (John 16:33; John 15:18)—and that promise was reinforced throughout the New Testament (2 Tim 3:12; 1 John 3:13). If you love and serve Jesus, Satan hates you and will go after you. And, sis, if he’s dogging you, then you’re doing something right. In fact, when we suffer with joy, this godly attitude (Hebrews 12:2) frustrates the enemy to no end—to me, that’s an awesome motivation right there!


But one of the most encouraging reasons to suffer with joy is that, by doing so, we can bring others to Jesus. When you go through the inevitable storms of life, others are watching (like Job’s friends) and unbelievers are waiting to see you shake your fist at God or break under the crushing wind and waves. So, when you weather those storms with joy, anchored to the faithful, unmovable Rock—our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ—they’ll notice. And they’ll want to know the Source of your joy in the suffering.


“Lord, in the midst of my pain, tears, and sorrow, may I cling to the joy of my salvation—the joy that frustrates the enemy of my soul and can bring others to know You.”


For His Glory


Julianne Winkler Smith
TRBC Women’s Life


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