“I really want to encourage you not to despair, not to lose faith, not to let go of God in your life, but stand in your suffering as a person who believes that she is deeply loved by God. When you look inside yourself, you might sometimes be overwhelmed by all the brokenness and confusion, but when you look outside toward him who died on the cross for you, you might suddenly realize that your brokenness has been lived through for you long before you touched it yourself.
Suffering is a period in your life in which true faith can emerge, a naked faith, a faith that comes to life in the midst of great pain. The grain, indeed, has to die in order to bear fruit and when you dare to stand in your suffering, your life will bear fruit in ways that are far beyond your own predications or understanding. . . . Spend some time each morning doing nothing but simply sitting in the presence of God and saying the Jesus Prayer. Gradually, God will enter your heart in a new way and bring new light into your struggle” (Henri Nouwen).
“And that’s not all. We also celebrate in seasons of suffering because we know that when we suffer we develop endurance, which shapes our characters. When our characters are refined, we learn what it means to hope and anticipate God’s goodness. And hope will never fail to satisfy our deepest need because the Holy Spirit that was given to us has flooded our hearts with God’s love” (Romans 5:3-5, The Voice).