Why Sufferers Become Winners
Not long ago, I met a woman in her early 40's, whom I’ll call Jane (not her real name). She was a saleslady of a store I frequented; that was how I met her. Her smiles were contagious - one would think she was reaping a lot of sales everyday - and we became instant friends.
Little did I know that those smiles masked tremendous suffering. One day, she was crying while I was paying for my purchase.
Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars. -Kahlil Gibrane
In between sobs, she recounted how her employer would verbally abuse her. She would shout at her for the slightest mistake, send her for errands without giving her a tricycle fare, and worse, she would accuse her of stealing things so as not to pay her monthly salary. The value of the stolen item would then compensate for her salary. This, Jane said, “was the vicious cycle of her suffering.”
As she was telling me all of this, I could feel how deeply she was hurting inside. But, all I could say was that she should leave her abusive employer at once. I explained to her that abuse tends to continue for as long as the victim is present. Not long after, she heeded my advice and is now the boss of her own store.
But as horrible as any form of suffering is, there are redeeming points of going through it. God takes everything and makes it work for our good, for those of us who love Him (Romans 8:28); suffering is no different.
There are a few reasons why sufferers become winners:
Humility is the by-product of suffering. In the story above, Jane never fought back. Instead, she remained meek and humble. When one is humble, she becomes a blessing magnet. For the Bible says, ”Blessed are the meek for they will inherit the Kingdom of God."
By humility and the fear of the LORD are riches, and honour, and life. -Proverbs 22:4
Suffering produce clarity, illumination and direction. Experiencing hardships can result in a better understanding about the surroundings and circumstances that cause pain. It becomes an eye-opener to change for the better. As a result, it leads you to tread a better path.
Suffering transforms you to be courageous. Life itself is a battle ground. Each one of us is a soldier, so the more fights we encounter, the more courageous we become. As a consequence, we are not frightened to fight new battles because we have already mastered how to fight and win.
So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests; your faith is far more Precious than mere Gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the Day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole World. You love Him even though you have never seen Him. Though you do not see Him now, you trust Him; and you Rejoice with a Glorious, Inexpressible Joy. The reward for trusting Him will be the Salvation of your Souls. -1 Peter 1:6-9
Trials and hardships bring you closer to God, and the reward is the salvation of your soul. Who says life is easy? Everyone at some point has experienced life’s storms - big or small. What makes a believer different is the way you handle the hard moments. With deep faith and rapport with God, these trials will eventually die and fade away. Even if the trials are long, keep the faith - hang on to God and you will be rewarded!
Character is strengthened by sufferings. It creates a testing ground where you become prepared for any adversity to come.
God did not promise us an easy life - He promised that He would be there with us no matter what happens.
Some of the people we consider to be the greatest examples of Godly men in the history of the world fought the most difficult battles. Yet, by putting their faith in God, they earned His favor.
Abrahaam was asked to sacrifice His one and only son - it wasn't cancer or a car accident - God asked Abrahaam to do it. Isaac and Rebekah struggled with infertility for many long years. Ironically, Jacob was later renamed "Israel" which means "he struggles with God" because that is what His life was: after literally struggling with God physically, the Lord touched his hip and for the rest of his life Jacob walked with a limp; he was deceived by his loved ones multiple times; and then he lost his beloved son to a brutal and unexpected death (or so he thought for many years). And Joseph? He was betrayed and sold into slavery by his own brothers, put in prison and spent most of his young life working alone in a foreign land.
Finally, Jesus was God's own son and He was sent to this earth to be persecuted, mocked and eventually, killed. But, in the end, He got the greatest reward of all: the Heavenly throne.
Without suffering, life has no meaning. It is when we experience turbulence that we learn what life is all about. In this process, we gain wisdom on how to survive and overcome all the storms of life that come along.