5 Hope Filled Thoughts on Suffering

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. – 2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV)

Hearing aids, the one thing that’s not normal on me,” our ten-year old son Aaron, remarks as he inserts the aids into his ears.


“They’re normal for you, they’re a part of who you are,” I reply as I hand him his lunch bag.


“Yeah, well, nobody else in the whole school wears them,” he snaps back with a frown.


“Yes, but God allows it for you,” I remind him. “He has equipped you to handle it, he says, ’My child can bear it.’”


Aaron was diagnosed with Enlarged Vestibular Aqueduct Syndrome (EVA) when he was four years old. EVA is a genetic disorder that typically results in profound hearing loss.


Most days, Aaron handles his disability with tremendous strength, however, sometimes the weight of his condition becomes heavy upon his still growing shoulders. His thoughts focus on how EVA limits and frustrates him, and how it interferes with any plans, goals, or aspirations he has for the future.


We all deal with weaknesses of some sort. Our emotional, spiritual, or physical feebleness reminds us how vulnerable we really are. It’s easy to have an attitude of defeat when our burdens overwhelm us.


So what do we do when the weaknesses that haunt us become too much? When our questions of “why me?” never seem to get answered, and how exactly do we gain the strength to carry on?


I don’t think we can fully know this side of Heaven why we suffer, but here are some hope filled thoughts we can have in the face of them while we’re still earth-bound:


  • Our suffering equips us to help others. We become sensitive to those who walk the same road we do. We can relate on a deeper level, and looking towards others helps us deal with our own troubles in a more confident way.
  • God is near in our pain. Psalm 34:18 says, “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” Calling out in dependence draws us closer to him. He longs for us to know him more fully.
  • He refines us through our weakness. Refining is my new favorite word! When we are weak, God works to change our perspective. We start to see his power, and realize our ways of doing things interrupts the flow of his work.
  • God understands our pain. Jesus’ journey to the cross, and all that he suffered was so much more than anything we go through. Jesus walked this earth completely experiencing human suffering. He gets us.
  • There is hope in the hurt. God showers us with enough grace to live with or overcome our weaknesses. His unearned kindness towards us is all we need to live the life he has called us to.


“I never thought of it like that,” Aaron said with a smile as he walked off to school.


Hope in Motion

  1. Read 2 Corinthians 1:3-5. The Apostle Paul calls Christ the Father of compassion, and the God of all comfort who helps us in all our troubles. Reflect on what it says about comforting others. Do you have a desire to comfort those who suffer? Share your thoughts below.
  2. Jeremiah 29:11 is a verse I often quote to Aaron. Read it this week and think about God’s promises found there.
  3. Are you lacking strength in your weakness today? Isaiah 41:10 may help: “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Amen!

4 Replies

  1. Lori Perez

    Thank you Raye so much for writing about this. I have felt defeated many times with all of the medical things that I have been through. I have many times asked “Why me”? I always go back to what my momma has always said to me and that is “Why not you.”? what makes you so special that you don’t feel that you need to go through anything. We all have our defeats but it is how we handle them that helps us get through them. Bless your son for what he endures every day. The Lord has picked a special little boy to go through what he is going through because one day he is going to make a difference in someone elses life. Many of days I have felt like I can’t take this any more and want to give up but then that Big voice inside of me ( The Lord) tells me to go on and He will be there for me. God Bless you and I hope that you have a wonderful week.

    1. It’s so true, at times we think we should live past the struggle, but the valley is where we spend most of our days. God wholly uses the valleys and our struggles to work out his character through us. Hang in there, and thank you for going on this hope filled journey with us.

  2. Karin

    Oh my Raye, I completely identify with what you say above, “It’s easy have an attitude of defeat when our burdens overwhelm us”. THAT’S what that feeling is, defeat. I’ve been trying to put a name to it but have come up short, Jesus I feel so defeated, please enter my heart with victory over suffering and loss. Sweet Aaron, has so many gifts that he’s been given other children lack because they haven’t had the character building (refining) process that the Lord ‘allows’ us. Even in the depths of my suffering I realize that He has a plan for me. Thank you for the perspective I needed today, the lifting of my eyes from my pain to other’s.

    1. Thank you for your honest and open comment Karin. May our amazing God lift you today, He promises so much in the struggle!

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