I had the pleasure of reviewing this book titled: “The Sweet Side of Suffering”. In reviewing this book the author share some of her most painful moments. In sharing her experience of suffering she bring out validate points in regards to finding that sweet spot while suffering.
The authors’ Introduction notes that “Suffering is a reality that demands our full attention.” While nobody wants to suffer, we’re all bound to experience some type of suffering at some point or another in our lives. The many highs and lows of emotions that suffering brings, make you even question your own purpose in life. However, God’s timing is always on time and He never miss the mark. Galatians 3:4 says, “Have you suffered so much for nothing?” The writer puts the scripture this way, “Have you suffered so much without experiencing the sweet side?” Then she asked “why waste suffering?”
Suffering can bring into play unwanted attacks if you’re not careful into whose hands it’s in. Another question that is often asked, “Why God allows suffering?” Suffering came as a result of the Fall of Man and everything on the earth will experience it unwillingly. However, the great thing about suffering is, we don’t have to waddle in it we have a great Shepherd that experienced every need that we went through. The song writer puts it best this way, “Must Jesus bear the cross alone and all the world go free. No, there’s a cross for everyone, there is a cross for you and me.”
The author is aware that “often suffering catches us by surprise,” but it is by the power of prayer that will get you through the rough seasons. Therefore, we can meditate on Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” In Matthew 5:45 “that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the just and on the unjust.” So you see no one is exempt from suffering, but we do have a place of refuge. The author details intricate steps that we can take to obtain the sweet side of suffering. She discusses hearing the voice of God and knowing God ; which is vital to obtaining the sweet side of suffering. “
When we are facing times of confusion in our suffering, when we are confused by God’s ways, our human nature often tends to withdraw from God.” The enemy delights in the abatement of our faith in God. The worse thing about this is, it displeases God when we heed the voice of the enemy and not His. We are reminded that we can always communicate with God. He wants us to come to Him, to talk to Him and fellowship with Him. In Matthew 11:28 “Come to me, you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest [I will ease and relieve and refresh your soul] (AMP).”
Max Lucado quote: “A season of suffering is a small price to pay for a close view of God.” In spite of the season of suffering, it’s important that you know the Master Creator. The author reminds us that even in biblical days, the chosen ones even dealt with peer pressure, bullying, backstabbers, murderers, embezzlement, conspiracy, and various issues that we deal with today. Nonetheless, God is able to still keep you in all things and in all seasons.
The author talked about shared suffering, you’re not in it by yourself. 1 Peter 4:12-13 “Dear friends do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you, but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.” Suffering makes us keenly aware that we need God and there is no getting around this fact. The sweet side is “God will keep us in perfect peace when our minds is stayed or focused on Him (Isaiah 26:3). Our hope and future relies on us pressing forward, regardless of the situation, we can and will overcome. We are VICTORIOUS!!!!
Yes, I recommend this book for those who are entering a storm, in a storm, or coming out of a storm. There is a sweet side to all the hardship we endure in life, the One to whom we can take rest in and renew strength.