Matthew 11:28-30 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Illness, injury, and physical challenges can make us uncomfortably aware of how fragile we are. No matter how broken we feel, God can renew us from within. Your body is not a reflection of your spirit and life isn’t about reducing the weight of your suffering, it is about seeing your pain and your struggles next to the triumph of the cross and the promise of eternal life with Jesus. God gives us the strength to endure each day, and at the end of this life, He has something far greater in store for those who persevere (2Corinthians 4:16-18).
When you’re hurting, it’s not encouraging to hear someone say, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” However, in the first Century, that is exactly what James said to the early Christians as they faced the constant threat of persecution (I Peter 4:16). It wasn’t to lessen the significance of their pain, and suffering, but to reveal something about what happens when our faith is tested. When you persevere through tribulations, other experiences begin to feel easy in comparison. With every new trial, whether it be the loss of a loved one, a medical diagnosis or financial crisis, you have an opportunity to strengthen your faith in Christ.
If you are feeling discouraged, do not let that drive you into isolation, and when those around you are discouraged, do not let them fall into a wave of loneliness. At times being alone can restore us, but as part of the body of Christ, we are called to “bear one another’s burdens” (Galatians 6:2) and lift each other up (Hebrews 3:13).