Sunshine and Rain

April 5, 2014

by Maria Fontaine

Quotations of faith and hope in the midst of suffering

Compiled and edited by Maria Fontaine

Our natural reaction to troubles or suffering or sickness is to want them to go away as quickly as possible. That’s what the Lord wants, too. The only difference is that “as quickly as possible” for us usually means “now!” regardless of whether our life has been shaped and bettered through those trials the way the Lord intends it to be.

In these quotes and thoughts, there are important principles from those who have personally experienced suffering. These words were spoken from the heart. They reflect not a reasoned-out analysis, but wisdom born of personal experience.

Let them encourage you to take your hardships and pain to Jesus with an open heart and a desire to have Him walk with you through the good times and the hard. The Bible says, “who comforts us in all our tribulation.”[1]In the midst of the tribulation is where we learn to understand His comfort the most. Then your life, both on this earth and in the next world, will be enriched and enhanced and filled with His understanding, wisdom, and love that comes from walking through the waters and struggling through the rivers and passing through the fire, while knowing that they have not overcome you.[2]

The readiest way to escape from our sufferings is to be willing that they should endure as long as God pleases.—John Wesley

You don’t have to feel like you have great faith. You don’t have to feel like a spiritual giant. All you have to do is stick it out, clinging to the anchor of My Word no matter what things look like around you, and eventually you will win the reward of the promise.—Jesus, speaking in prophecy

When trouble hits we can react to it in a variety of ways. We can let it knock us out, so that we lose all hope and stamina. We can rebel and refuse to accept the rightness or merit of it. We can fill our lives with feverish activity so that we have no time to think about it. Or we can accept it—without defeat, rebellion, or evasion—trusting that God will make clear tomorrow what is so difficult to understand today.—George Appleton

Thou, O Lord, canst transform my thorn into a flower. And I want my thorn transformed into a flower. Job got the sunshine after the rain, but has the rain been all waste? Job wants to know, I want to know, if the shower had nothing to do with the shining. And Thou canst tell me—Thy Cross can tell me. Thou hast crowned Thy sorrow. Be this my crown, O Lord. I only triumph in Thee when I have learned the radiance of the rain.—George Matheson

The great thing with unhappy times is to take them bit by bit, hour by hour, like an illness. It is seldom the present, the exact present, that is unbearable.—C. S. Lewis

Don't give up because the pain is intense right now. Get on with it, and before long you will find that you have a new vision and a new purpose.—Stuart Singer

Whatever might have happened, not every thing is bad news. Jesus is on your side. You may be forced to spend a lot of time on your own, but utilize that time. I find it enables me to get a lot into the Word, and to pray for many people. I see all the people rushing as I used to do, and many are hurting. I have learnt to sit and watch people. As a lady walks past I say, “Thank you Lord that she can walk. I am sure she needs it more than I now do. Maybe she has a family,” and I start praying for her needs, and I find that as I do that I can cope with any hurt in my heart. I am convinced there is no hurt in your heart that you cannot overcome as you reach out to the needs of others.—Helga Hopper (massive stroke survivor)

Our Christian faith does not completely explain the mystery of suffering. It teaches us how to deal with suffering. It assures us that God does not will suffering, but He is in it, to redeem it and to turn it into good and blessing. Let us also remember that the perfect life was not exempt from suffering.—George Appleton

We fail to see the place of suffering in the broader scheme of things. We fail to see that suffering is an inevitable dimension of life. Because we have lost perspective, we fail to see that unless one is willing to accept suffering properly, he or she is really refusing to continue in the quest for maturity. To refuse suffering is to refuse personal growth.—Henri J. M. Nouwen

Dear God, help my unbelief. When I'm in pain, I forget that you care about me. I forget that you have helped me through my trials. I forget that you hold me in your arms to keep me safe. I forget that you are feeling my pain with me. I forget that you love me. I forget that I am important to you. Show me your presence—let me feel your enveloping love. Heal my hurting soul. Thank you for staying with me even in my unbelief.—Timothy Dailey

The Lord’s children may pass through many sicknesses, heartaches, and much tribulation without gaining the benefits offered if they don’t avail themselves of the opportunity to find out what their heavenly Father has intended for their ultimate good.—Author unknown

Sometimes there are obstacles in your way, things standing in the way of My answers, which I wait for you to remove. But it still comes back to faith—believing that I will answer, making sure you’ve done your part, and then continuing to believe and do what I’ve asked you to do for however long it takes until the answer comes.—Jesus, speaking in prophecy

When I am in the cellar of affliction, I look for the Lord’s choicest wines.—Samuel Rutherford

Afflictions are light when compared with what we really deserve. They are light when compared with the sufferings of the Lord Jesus. But perhaps their real lightness is best seen by comparing them with the weight of glory which is awaiting us.—A. W. Pink

If only for a moment, take your eyes off yourself and your circumstances, off the ways of this world and all rival claimants, and look at who God is. Ponder His mighty deeds. This isn’t to say your soul or circumstances aren’t important. It simply means that you are in the hands of an omnipotent God whose ability to act on your behalf is equaled only by His passionate affection for you as His child, whose strength is without end and whose sovereignty covers the expanse of the heavens. God’s desire isn’t to minimize your life and struggles and disappointments. His intent is for you to gain hope, knowing that nothing can wrench you from the loving arms of a God like this!—Sam Storms

Endurance in the midst of suffering, not success, health, or wealth, is the mark of a genuine Christian life. Furthermore, it is faith and hope in the midst of suffering, not miraculous deliverance from it, that display most clearly the all-sufficiency of God to a despairing world.—Scott Hafemann

The only absolute is faith—a faith that goes beyond “proof” or validation, a faith that you hold to and keep strong all the days of your life even if you do “die in faith, not having received the promises.”[3]Jesus, speaking in prophecy

Our first priority in times of adversity is to honor and glorify God by trusting Him. We tend to make our first priority the gaining of relief from our feelings of heartache or disappointment or frustration. This is a natural desire, and God has promised to give us grace sufficient for our trials and peace for our anxieties.[4][5]), so God’s honor is to take precedence over our feelings. We honor God by choosing to trust Him when we don’t understand what He is doing or why He has allowed some adverse circumstance to occur. As we seek God’s glory, we may be sure that He has purposed our good and that He will not be frustrated in fulfilling that purpose.—Jerry Bridges

[1] 2 Corinthians 1:4 NKJV.

[2] Isaiah 43:2.

[3] Hebrews 11:13.

[4] 2 Corinthians 12:9, Philippians 4:6–7.

[5] Matthew 26:39.