Hope In The Mourning Reading Plan

Day 7 of 7 • This day’s reading

Hope in Suffering

Laura was a friend I loved but never met. In 2012, she lost a courageous Christ-centered battle with cancer. She stirred more hearts in her five-year journey than most people dream of in a lifetime. Laura always pointed toward her heavenly Father, never herself, and even when her cancer spread, she kept everyone’s eyes firmly fixed on Jesus. She suffered with purpose.

In her final weeks, Laura began posting “Letters to My Children” on her Caring Bridge site. The Lord used Laura’s gift—her voice—like a song, beautiful and haunting, to give voice to millions of crying hearts. Her letters to her children are breathtakingly bold, beautiful and tragic.

Hebrews 6:19 assures us that “we have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.” Laura’s hope was in Christ. She did everything for his sake. When sufferings come, do you fix your eyes on the eternal? Do you suffer with purpose, knowing this momentary affliction prepares you for a glory beyond measure? The Christian life is eternal. This is the promise God gives each of us. This world is not all there is.

In watching his wife, Joy, die, C. S. Lewis came to a moment, “the instant of being moved and feeling pain in a positive way, of allowing the laughter and tear to cohabit the tomb of the eye.”

Joy in the middle of pain, hope in the midst of overwhelming grief, faith instead of fear—is this possible? In the flesh, no, but by the power of the Holy Spirit all things are possible. Christians can rejoice in suffering because they know it is not meaningless. “We boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope” (Romans 5:2–4).

Not all of us can be poet-warriors like Laura or feel pain in a positive way like C. S. Lewis, but each one of us can “live a life worthy of the calling you have received” (Ephesians 4:1). What is God calling you to do?

Hebrews 11:1 tells us, “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” Are you taking hold of the hope offered in Christ?