Rob Bell, in his book Mental Toughness Training for Golf, told the story of Victor Frankl, who exemplified what it meant to persevere through suffering. Frank] was a prisoner of war in three different Nazi concentration camps during World War 11. His wife died in one of the camps, and his manuscript that he was secretly writing was discovered and destroyed. He had to rewrite it from memory on stolen paper.
Negative events and suffering affect us, but not as bad as we might think. Although most argue that suffering is not needed, enduring suffering is necessary. In an attempt to improve, progress, and properly reflect, one must suffer. It is unfortunate that bad things happen, but the longer we live, the more poor experiences we will inevitably encounter. We shouldn't fear loss or suffering that will occur.
Why do athletes cry during losses or victories? They realize how much suffering they have endured in practice and the sacrifices they have made, and they are often overwhelmed with emotion at that moment. If we are to experience these feelings of elation, we must endure suffering as well.
Consider what Paul said to Timothy, "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God, who has saved us and called us with a holy calling" (2 Timothy 1:7-9). Furthermore, "I endure all things for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory" (2 Timothy 2:10).
Author Mark Batterson wrote, 'Sickness helps us appreciate health. Failure helps us appreciate success. Debt makes us appreciate wealth. It is the bad days that make us really appreciate the good ones."
If the world recognizes the benefits of suffering, one who follows Christ should also-and much more-for his reward would be greater than any received in this world.
"And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces character, and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts" (Romans 5:3-5).