We all know what it is like to suffer in some way or another. Not all of our sufferings are the same. Some experience incredible suffering, often unimaginable to the rest of us. Some experience suffering in simpler ways. But we all experience a degree of suffering.
Suffering is sobering…
it reminds us we are human…
reveals our flesh and our sin…
brings us to our knees before our Maker…
which reminds us this world is broken and begs us to look forward to the future that we will call our eternal home.
Yet while we are here, suffering (of any kind) offers opportunity for us to turn our eyes and the eyes of others to Jesus and give Him the GLORY!
Suffering has purpose, and God provides a solution.
For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving an example for you to follow in His steps. (1 Peter 2:21)
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. (2 Cor 1:3-4)
Suffering is something we share with Christ. It forms us, molds us, challenges us and our faith. It can cause us to truly see how reliant we are on Christ and just how much we trust Him.
However, as a solution to suffering, God offers COMFORT. Scripture says He is the God of all Comfort. We, too, can comfort each other. Through this, we reflect the Father and give Him the glory He so greatly deserves.
Pregnancy, labor, birth, child rearing, marriage: all of it contains moments of suffering. Life here is hard. Though our suffering might differ from one another’s, we are comforted by the God of all COMFORT.
Making a playlist of music to remind you of God’s incredible goodness is vital to providing a labor and birth atmosphere which draws you towards the God of comfort. Scripture reminders throughout your birth space (whether it be home or hospital), memorized deep into your heart, or even read to you during labor, can drastically alter your present suffering.
The most incredible thing that we see in scripture over and over, something that we truly hold in our hands, is that God brings goodness out of suffering. In our suffering, He knits together the most incredible gift: a child.
The idea that God comforts us by creating something good out of suffering is also seen in that oft-quoted verse, Romans 8:28, where we read that, “God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God.” What a comfort it is to know that God can take the hardest situations and work them to accomplish holy purposes.
And when we feel we can’t do it anymore, we see in scripture how the prayers of others and the Spirit can intercede on our behalf.
God strengthens us through intercessory prayer–that is, prayer made on our behalf. It is not that our own prayers won’t work or be heard, but as many of us know, our suffering can become so intense that it becomes difficult to think straight–let alone pray for what we need. Paul experienced this in his affliction, and so he comments in 2 Cor 1:11 on “the favor bestowed upon (him) through the prayers of (others).” God comforted Paul by answering the prayers offered by his friends.
In Romans 8:26, we learn how the Holy Spirit can pray on our behalf. When we are too weak, or when we do not know how to pray, “the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groaning too deep for words.“
Surround yourself with a labor team that can lift you up in prayer, whether spoken or silent, and invite the Spirit to fill the room, that you might be comforted by God through the Spirit’s great love for you.
You are more capable than you imagine. More equipped than you think. And God is with you…
Paul says that God’s grace is “sufficient“(2 Corinthians 12:9). There is enough of it. God gives enough grace and enough strength to help us endure every trial. God works all things–even trials–for good to those who love Him. And when you are too weak to pray, be comforted, knowing that the Spirit of God is praying on your behalf. Friends, your suffering may be great, and so we need to be reminded that the quantity of our suffering is matched by the quantity of God’s comfort.
As Charles Spurgeon has said, “It would be a very sharp and trying experience to me to think that I have an affliction which God never sent me, that the bitter cup was never filled by his hand, that my trials were never measured out by him, nor sent to me by his arrangement of their weight and quantity.”
Spurgeon goes on to say, “if our great pains were not regulated by (Divine) wisdom, we might be alarmed at them, but now we need not be afraid . . . He who made no mistakes in balancing the clouds and meting out the heavens, commits no errors in measuring out the ingredients which compose the medicine of souls.” (1)
We are always adding new songs to our suggested Playlist for Births. Check it out here: Worship to Birth for His Glory