Many are persecuted, starving or ill. Without question, the death of a loved one brings a deep grief that is painfully lonely.
For many Christians, suffering is self-induced. Elisabeth Elliot says suffering is simply having something you do not want, or wanting something you do not have.
We have a protection against a great deal of the suffering the enemy would like to inflict. The Holy Spirit has instructed us to govern our thoughts. To lead them away, captive.
When the mind begins weaving around what could have been, fantasy begins to seep in. Solid ground becomes quicksand. The stance slackens and the pace slows. Slowly, the painful process of self-examination eats away at the soul. The leading of the Lord is obscured by wishing and longing for things that can not be relived.
The days and hours are lost. Depression and weariness and wishing become haunting and there is no release without repentance and, often, corporate prayer.
Anger, resentment and jealousy do the same thing. They produce a life of fantasy. The imaginings bring feeling and the soulish believer lives as though the fantasy were real. And speech and action begin to take on the color of the paranoid thoughts that have been festering.
Again, the result is usually depression and an intense need to persuade others of the truth of the thing that is in actuality, only a paranoid fantasy.
Much suffering that is not physical, is the result of an ungodly thought life.
What has happened to you? When the initial sting has passed, there is always choice. Even in grief, the pain is sweeter when there is an agreement with God about the matter.
Soldier of The Cross, you are not expected to wear a smarmy grin and deny pain or hardship.
You are expected to let Him have His way. You are expected to allow Him to do whatever He needs to in order to bring about His own likeness in you.
You are expected to identify with His sufferings.
Take courage. Remember that He loves you enough to allow the things that have been in your life and that are there now.
No wound-licking. No whining in the mind. No fantasy conversations. No plans to even the score.
Look up and move on!