Dedicated to those who triumph and overcomes in spite of
I like to observe people when I am in the mall or on the street. I see them carrying different looks. Most seem to be rushing about some with serious or angry faces. There are those in deep thoughts while some walk around with blank looks. Yet others seem to be in physical pain, suffering from illness maybe? Or fatigue?
Could it be that they have been subjected to some universal unseen diseases? Maybe a trusted friend has just betrayed them? Or perhaps they have been misunderstood, misused, or abused?
Suffering is not a popular subject yet suffering in this life is inevitable. To be alive is to be open to suffering.
The Good Book tells us that “In this world you will have tribulation / trouble but be of good cheer / take courage for I have overcome the world” Jn 16:33.
That is hard to understand.
With economic uncertainties, safety threats, and corruption making headlines, how does one find something to be positive about? You have experienced heart aches, personal lost, physical pain and limitations in so many ways, what is there to be cheerful (also translated as take courage, take heart) about?
To get the meaning of this verse we need to read context to get the whole picture and the correct perspective. And so if you will just follow with me on this trend of thought.
This verse that we just saw was spoken right before Jesus was betrayed by one of His own, His closest friend, 2 chapters later. Jesus knew he was going to suffer greatly physically and spiritually and He knew that He was going to overcome pain and suffering, including that of betrayal from one of his own, separation from the One He loves and death. He overcame and is victorious.
Suffering and stress will be present in our lives there is no escaping that. But suffering and pain do not need to stop us from taking heart and facing them boldly so we can go through the suffering and come out triumphant. Suffering and stress need not rob us of victory, joy and hope. I am sure you have experienced that to some degree.
Part of the Plan
The stress and suffering that you and I are going through is not the end of our stories. It is part of the plan of our life and growth, it is a necessary part of the plan. The reason we do not need to despair is because in the end, we can overcome and be victorious. The process of suffering is painful, yet it is temporal, when suffering has accomplished its purpose, we will be victorious, over comers.
So how do we deal with and overcome suffering?
Let us understand the psychology of human thinking.
If things are going fine, we do not see a need to improve. Humans do not like changes. We like things to remain the same, we like the familiar (no matter how much we may complain about it) we do not want any unexpected surprises. We pursue success and we do all we can to achieve that, sometimes ignoring the essential thing in life.
When we reach a stable position (career or business), we cruise, we relax and we still don’t think of the essential things in life. But when something happens out of the ordinary and we hit rock bottom (either financially, emotionally or spiritually) we are then awakened to “reality” and we begin to assess the situation. Sometimes we need a rude wake-up call to set us on the right path.
How we response to the stress and suffering is crucial and that will determine if we will be victorious in the end.
Stress and suffering will be present. There will be things you can be stressed about for sure. If it’s not about your health, it will be your career or business or your relationships. If it’s not mentally stressing you out it could be physically and emotionally draining you, causing you anxiety, uncertainties and fears. What are you going to do? How are you going combat that?
Your response to the situation will determine if you will come out shining or not. If you confront the issue and face it, it will diminish and shrink in it's power. Shy away from it and it will consume you alive, but by bit, day by day.
Here's a post with a fuller discussion on how one can confront. Read the related post as part of the plan to overcome sufferings. For those who read Mandarin, here's the published post on Sin Chew Daily.
We do not need to succumb to the difficulties, challenges, injustice and inconveniences around us. Sure you can make those your reasons and excuses and feel justified in how these have caused you your current situation.
Or you can rise above these and go on your way to fulfilment, happiness, empowerment, success and joy.
The choice is yours. The power is in way in your hands.
Whatever you choose will be right for you from your view; no one will contest that.
Choose wisely; live in Victory and Abundance (Jn 10:10).
By the way, if you are free on Oct 16th, come join us for a live seminar. Tea and lunch will be provided and we will also have a Q&A session.