How We Suffer as Believers: Our Hearts Ache, But We Always Have Joy

by | Aug 28, 2023

We recently experienced a devastating loss in our family. It was the first time as a mom I had to share the news with my kids that someone they knew and loved deeply was gone from this Earth.

I didn’t expect it to be so hard. I wanted to lead with the positive. She is in Heaven with Jesus today! No longer suffering. But the fact is, today we are sad. There is a hole in our lives here in this broken world that will leave our hearts aching.

When I was praying for wisdom, God reminded me of one of the most powerful reminders Paul gives to the church in Corinth about the paradoxes of the Christian life:

 

We serve God whether people honor us or despise us, whether they slander us or praise us. We are honest, but they call us impostors. We are ignored, even though we are well known. We live close to death, but we are still alive. We have been beaten, but we have not been killed. Our hearts ache, but we always have joy. 

1 Corinthians 10:8-9, NLT

A paradox of the Christian life: sorrowful, yet always rejoicing

Sometimes I think about what should distinguish my life, our lives, from those who don’t’ have faith in Christ. I think Paul helps to answer this in the passage.

The reality is, as Christians, we experience deep, painful, sorrow. Cancer. Sickness. Job loss. Miscarriage. Infertility. Marital conflict. 

We also worship a Savior who experienced grief. As the prophet Isaiah described:

He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering.

Isaiah 53:1

God doesn’t call us to put on a fake smile and act like everything is ok. This world is broken, and that is cause for deep sorrow.

This reminds me of another paradox that Paul highlights in this passage in v. 9 in the ESV version: You see us “as dying, and behold, we live.”

Yes, we live with the reality of death and suffering in this world every day. We are crucified with Christ. But we live because Christ is our life now, and he will raise us from the dead.

A joy that is deeper

BUT. What makes us difference is in the middle of our deepest sorrow we have the greatest HOPE. It’s in our grief that we can say, God is greater! As we cry tears of mourning, we can rejoice in the fact that we know the end to the story, and it is an amazing one.

When we’re in a tough place, the well-intentioned but often throwaway social media condolences or self-help techniques feel good for maybe a moment. Alternatively faking it until we make it, or persistent optimism may work for awhile, until it doesn’t.

We have something much different to cling to as believers. We cling to the rock solid Word of God and the truth that this life is not the end.

 In the wake of the loss we experienced in our family, God reminded me of the following reminder Paul gave to the Thessalonians: 

And now, dear brothers and sisters, we want you to know what will happen to the believers who have died so you will not grieve like people who have no hopeFor since we believe that Jesus died and was raised to life again, we also believe that when Jesus returns, God will bring back with him the believers who have died.”

1 Thessalonians 4: 13-18

 

When we mourn the loss of a believer, we don’t sorrow as others who have no hope. Just like our heart aches when someone we love goes on a long trip. We wait expectantly knowing we will see them one day soon.

An example to our kids, and the World

So, how as moms do we communicate these beautiful, but complicated truths? A few takeaways:

1. The Christian life is full of sorrow. It’s ok to be sad. The Bible, and the life of Jesus makes this clear. We don’t need to pretend that this World is easy. 

2. The Christian life is anchored in immense hope. When we experience something extremely difficult as a family, we weep together but we also remind each other of the hope of Heaven.

3. One of the most powerful ways we communicate the Gospel is by how we handle grief. 

 

About MomQ

At MomQ we believe that motherhood is a calling from God. While it is both a privilege and an honor, it is by no means easy! Moms have a lot of questions/concerns and need caring support along their journey. Whether you are a brand new mom or a little more seasoned, MomQ is here to help you fulfill your God given role. Don’t see a group in your area? Contact us today about starting one in your community!

Freedom Parenting In a World of Fear

One of the biggest challenges of being a Christian mama is that our kiddos are daily facing the ramifications of living in a dark and fallen world. The question is, how does that challenge impact the way we parent? Is it our job to protect our kids from anything that would harm them and choose to parent from fear, or equip them to face whatever opposition they might face and parent from a place of freedom?

The Journey to Confident Parenting: How MomQ Changed Shayla Berke’s Life

Juggling parenthood and personal growth can often seem overwhelming as a mother. During her search for guidance, Shayla Berke found hope and support at MomQ, our faith-based community where she was warmly welcomed by Candace, our community's founder and lead mentor....

Embracing Motherhood with Grace: A Path to Empowerment Through MomQ!

Embracing Motherhood With Grace: A Path to Empowerment Through MomQ Lauren Simonton's story began on a note of seeking—seeking community, seeking guidance, and seeking a deeper connection to faith amidst the beautiful chaos of motherhood. It was within the welcoming...

What Do I Do With Anxious Thoughts?

Do you enjoy waiting in lines? Have you been to Disney World recently? If you have, you probably used their handy app showing all the rides and attractions and the estimated wait times. The last time I was in the parks, the app was a lifeline to help us make the most...

How Well Are You Waiting On God?

If you’re like me, there tends to be a lot of hand wringing or impatience while I wait. Even though I trust God for my salvation, my mind often works overtime trying to find satisfactory solutions when life hands me unexpected circumstances. So how can we learn to wait well?

One Load of Laundry at a Time

Is there any occupation more fraught with humility and sacrifice than motherhood? Surely there is, but it escapes me at present. A mother’s life is a sacrificial life, if it’s done right. On the job 24/7, 2 am feedings, diapers . . . oh so many diapers, breakfasts, lunches, and dinners, oh my! And laundry. A moment of silence, please . . . The question is, however, does this self-sacrifice work humility in us?

How Do I Prioritize My People?

It wasn’t until I started this personal relationship with Jesus and learned the enormity of His love for me and the enormity of His love for my husband and my daughter that I understood HOW I was to love them…

Truth Based Parenting

Parenting can be hard! Navigating it can sometimes leave parents feeling lost at sea. Kids don’t come with a manual and we find ourselves wandering aimlessly, having no idea which direction to point our compass. Consequently, well meaning relatives aside, parents...

Embracing the Rhythms of Motherhood: Unwrapping the Gifts of Each Season

In the dance of life, the rhythm of motherhood is a melody that ebbs and flows through the changing seasons. As I sit here, pondering the precious moments that define the journey of raising children, I’m reminded of the importance of embracing the unique gifts that each season brings to a mother’s heart.

Discovering Your True Identity Within Christian Motherhood: Grace-Based Truths For Biblical Parenting

As mothers, we don’t have to be perfect to be a good fit for motherhood… We are chosen by God to be Mom to our specific kiddos.

Follow Us

Latest From Our Blog

Freedom Parenting In a World of Fear

Freedom Parenting In a World of Fear

One of the biggest challenges of being a Christian mama is that our kiddos are daily facing the ramifications of living in a dark and fallen world. The question is, how does that challenge impact the way we parent? Is it our job to protect our kids from anything that would harm them and choose to parent from fear, or equip them to face whatever opposition they might face and parent from a place of freedom?

read more

What's your mom superpower? Take our short quiz and find out your greatest strength as a mom.

X
Share This