Whenever I’m tempted to feel sorry for myself or to think no one is suffering as much as I am or in the same way, I recall one of my favorite scriptures—2 Corinthians 12:10. This verse clearly teaches there will be times we’ll be persevering through different kinds of pain. It also cites the apostle Paul’s triumphant words on his own personal suffering—on his “thorn in the flesh” (verse 7).
After hearing Jesus’ promise concerning His all-sufficient grace for enduring distress, Paul announced (verse 10), “Therefore I take pleasure in …
- Infirmities (weaknesses)
- Reproaches (insults and ill-treatment)
- Needs (hardships and deprivations)
- Persecutions (torment)
- Distresses (difficulties and times of difficulty).”
Think about it. Paul lists five different types of suffering, five different kinds of adversity. And, as Bible scholars note, the list is not complete in reference to Paul’s trials. This means we are never the only ones suffering. Suffering takes on many faces, but it is universal to humankind due to the fall of Adam in the garden of Eden (Genesis 3:1-7).
But the good news for you and all believers is we’re not alone in persevering through pain! Because of the grace of God, you can be strong—even when suffering weakens you. Keep James’ command to “count it all joy” (1:2). And follow Paul’s example of persevering and rejoicing in the power of Christ (2 Corinthians 12:9-10). Then you, too, can triumph over your ordeals. And, like Paul, you can know blessings await you on the other side of each trial.
Click here to start or end your day with Elizabeth’s NEW devotional, One Minute with the Women of the Bible. As you learn how God comforted, helped, and provided for the women in the Bible, you’ll grow more and more aware of His amazing love for you.