How to Hold Suffering and Joy
In this Truth Talk, I’m speaking with author Bethny Ricks about how to hold both suffering and joy simultaneously. She talks us through setting boundaries, the process of healing, and how we can create and hold space for people around us who are suffering. We also look at the life of Jesus just before His crucifixion as an example of living with this dichotomy. So, if you’re feeling weary, are in need of encouragement, or some advice on how to set healthy boundaries for healing, this episode is for you.
Key points from our conversation how to hold suffering and joy:
Suffering is a state of pain experienced in many ways, generally over a prolonged period of time. Joy is abundance – something that triggers happiness/glee. It’s generally a form of overflow.
Joy doesn’t have to be connected to anything. Jesus held onto joy in the midst of suffering for the anticipation of what God was going to do.
To hold joy, you can’t connect it to the pain or feel like it has to replace the suffering. You can have an abundance of appreciation, understanding, and overflow. Joy is a refreshing of the Lord in spite of trouble.
God has already promised us that He won’t leave us, so we should pray to see what He sees in our valleys.
Boundaries are an internal calculation you make about how much you allow others to speak into your life. It’s about protecting your own heart and mind. Boundaries honor both parties.
“People don’t want responsibility because they don’t want the accountability.”
If you have a loved one experiencing suffering, remind them of the truth of who they are and Who they belong to. There is something after the pain and reaching for joy presently get you through. Also, ask questions and listen.
If you’re trying to cling to joy in the middle of suffering, pause. When we rush through pain, we miss God in the moment. Have an understanding of who God says you are. Read the story of Jesus before He went to the cross and remember what God has done.
“It’s one thing to see in retrospect that God was with you the whole time. It’s a completely different thing to pause and allow Him to carry you. Because in the carrying, He’s carrying your hope, joy, pain, suffering and weariness.”
Bethny writes and speaks about topics that impact the heart and mind day in and day out. She also has a deep passion for helping women strengthen their voice by focusing on authenticity, faith, and purpose.
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