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Spoiler alert, you can’t skip all suffering. Sometimes you can skip some, but that doesn’t always mean you should. While I would definitely recommend avoiding unnecessary suffering, there is some suffering that teaches you important lessons and makes you a better person.

Some suffering comes as a direct consequence of a bad choice that you made and you deserve it, like the time I fell as a child when I went “skating” with my socks on the tile floor after being told not to. But sometimes suffering comes as a direct consequence of a good choice you made. The Bible talks about suffering for doing the right thing in 1 Peter 2:20-23 and 3:14-18. If Jesus Himself suffered and did absolutely nothing wrong ever, why would we think as His followers that we will somehow get out of suffering? But remember, God can take any experience and turn it into something better.

But what about suffering that isn’t technically anyone’s fault? What about accidents, sicknesses, or deaths? That’s the kind of suffering everyone must deal with at some point, but God can take even that and turn it into something good. For example, when my grandma died, I was hurt in a way I’d never felt before and I needed God’s help in a way I never had before. Because God was there for me and all I had to do was ask, I learned more about God, relationships, grief, suffering, and healing than I would have otherwise. I know better how to comfort someone else in a similar situation. But let’s talk about the key point here: I wouldn’t have learned all that if I hadn’t turned to the One who can change my suffering into goodness. I could just as easily have fallen into sorrow so deep that I might not have lived through the rest of the year.

I’ve heard and said before that suffering can make you bitter or it can make you better, but really all the difference is in God.

A Bit on Suffering
Discomfort and Suffering from God
Why Me?
Not Exempt
Suffering for Jesus
Bitter or Better?
Suffering Like a Potato
Turning the Other Cheek