I read a quote once that has stuck with me, “Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.” While we cannot avoid pain, we can avoid the damage it can do if we allow ourselves to go through misery. We can suffer the loss of true joy.
Everyone I know has suffered a loss, illness, or pain of some sort. We all have our own stories to tell. I sure have mine. How we react to it is a choice we each have. James tells us that it is pure joy when we face various trials and that the testing of our faith produces perseverance. James 1:2-3.
If we do not make the choice to find joy, we are choosing to suffer. We decide that our God is not powerful enough to give us the strength to get through another day. We are choosing to trust in the misleadings of the world and not test our faith Christ. We choose to believe lies and not pursue the good that God promises to those who love Him through all things. Romans 8:28.
Instead, we can choose to react with our own sufferings by turning to our Lord for strength 2 Cor 12:9. We can to count our blessings, the greatest being our eternal salvation, and we can give Him thanks. Psalm 34:1-3 We can choose to turn to others for guidance and realize that we are not alone. Hebrews 4:16 We can also choose to give compassion to those we never know are going through pain and suffering. Colossians 3:21 and Phil 2:4.
We are not meant to go through this life suffering alone. Pain is inevitable. How we choose to respond to it is a choice we wake up to every day.