Suffering Can Lead To Hope

John Wayne collage

That seems strange doesn’t it?  How can suffering lead to hope?  Seems contrary to how most of us want life to be.  We don’t want to suffer.  Human beings like comfort over pain any day.  I have been thinking about suffering lately.  Not only the suffering I have endured over the last seven and a half years fighting Celiac, but the suffering I have to endure on top of that any time I get sick.  It has been almost three weeks now that I have been fighting some kind of cold virus.  It must be a super bug or something because it has really been beating me down.  Celiac disease is a chronic auto immune disorder, so when I get sick it hits me much harder than when I was healthy.  I am already chronically ill on my best days, so it takes me a long time to get over illnesses now.

I like to watch old John Wayne movies.  One of my favorite movies of his is called “True Grit” from 1969.  I also like the new one that came out in 2010, but if you haven’t seen the original, I recommend watching that first.  I was thinking about John Wayne movies today and the time of the wild west here in America.  The way I have to suffer and fight illnesses is much like what the people of the wild west had to do (except I don’t take a shot of whiskey).  A lot of times there wasn’t a doctor around to help back then and if there was, there wasn’t much he could for the sick person.  People lived out on the prairie on farms and they just had to suffer and grit it out and they either lived or died.  It was just that painfully simple.  Such were the wild west days.

I can’t have NSAIDS like Ibuprofen anymore, so when I get a fever and I’m in pain I just have to grit it out.  There is nothing doctors can do for me.  I haven’t even had antibiotics in over seven years.  Praise God I haven’t needed them!  I don’t know what they would do to me now.  Would amoxicillin cause me to go into anaphylaxis?  Would I start vomiting violently like when I tried to take Ibuprofen back in 2012?  I don’t know and I really don’t want to find out.  I don’t go to a doctor unless it is absolutely necessary.  Call me old fashioned, but I just don’t trust them anyway.

We have to be tough to get through this diseased fallen world.  We have to have true grit.  Celiac has made me real gritty.  Every morning I wake up, I have to be ready to fight and manage this disease.  It is just part of my every day reality now.  Suffering toughens us up, but we can’t stop there.  If all we have is suffering, we can very easily lose hope.  Once a person truly loses hope, it becomes almost impossible to keep living.  All of us need hope!

The Apostle Paul suffered greatly.  He even had a “thorn in his flesh” (2 Corinthians 12:7-10) that he pleaded with the Lord three times to take away.  Maybe it was some kind of disease that he suffered or maybe it was some kind of physical pain.  We don’t know because Paul never explained it, but it was clear that he suffered.  He also suffered multiple torture sessions at the hands of the Romans and he was ultimately murdered by them at the end of his ministry.  He stood strong in the face of suffering.  Paul had true grit.  That is why it gives me hope when I read what Paul wrote about regarding suffering in Romans.  Paul let us know that suffering can produce good outcomes for the believer in Jesus.

“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand.  And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.  Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.  And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.”

Romans 5:1-5

Amen!  Thank you Jesus for the power of the Holy Spirit!  If you are a believer in Jesus who is suffering, please know that God has not abandoned you!  We can trust that He is producing a perseverance in us where we can stand with grit against our suffering.  That perseverance will develop a character in us where we can be hopeful even in the darkest and most painful circumstances.  That, my friends, is beautiful and that is how God can turn suffering into hope.  A great hope that is secure in God’s love and will never disappoint us!

The Lord has given us His strength, peace, and joy and we have overcome the world through our faith in Jesus!  We can trust that God will turn our suffering into hope!  So, if you are suffering today like me, dig deep into the endless reservoir of hope from the Holy Spirit inside of you!  Set your face like flint against the suffering of this world and grit it out in the power of God who loves us more than we can imagine!  He will never leave us nor forsake us and our suffering does not have the final word!

“Because the Sovereign Lord helps me,

I will not be disgraced.

Therefore have I set my face like flint,

and I know I will not be put to shame.”

Isaiah 50:7

May we have true grit in the power of the Holy Spirit to face and overcome the suffering of this world!  Grace and peace to you all in the powerful Name of Jesus!

John Wayne True Grit scene
John Wayne, True Grit (1969)






Author: Ryan Callahan

Hello, and welcome to my site! I am an independent Christian author (One Man's Very Strange Supernatural Life), blogger, and evangelist for Jesus. My main goal with this blog is to help people come to know Jesus, help people understand the Bible, and to minister to a lost and hurting world. This site is about hope, new beginnings, grace, mercy, forgiveness, and love! I'm glad you are here, God bless you! Copyright © 2023 Ryan Callahan. All rights reserved.

74 thoughts on “Suffering Can Lead To Hope”

  1. Tremendous post, Ryan. I have found the same to be true. Often, I believe, God uses suffering as a way of “doing business” with us, even at age 61 when we need to make some serious changes in our lives. God’s richest blessings upon you as you grit it out in this harsh world. A new world of glory awaits!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Such a great post, Ryan. I pray for you when I think of you. I pray God turns your suffering into Joy! The way things in this world are looking, I think it would be safe to say your (our) suffering is almost over. Come Lord Jesus! God bless you, brother.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. He could be toughening you up for what may lay ahead, that’s how I look at it. I think more in terms now of spiritual emergencies instead of medical emergencies. Like you I don’t do well with a lot of med and I stick mainly to natural remedies to help me through the tough times. Keep hanging tight to the hem of His garment…Blessings

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I’m a big wimp and I hate pain and suffering, but I know that it does send me to God much faster than when everything is going well. I hate to hear that you are still sick and I wish I could help. But I am inspired by your faith and I know others are as well, so you can be thankful that your suffering is doing some good . Praying for you.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Well said. I too love that Paul’s thorn was never explained. I believe then all of us can envision our own thorn as his and have his words apply directly to our circumstances. I pray you will find grace to go along with your grit, that you will experience what Paul did in the midst of his suffering. And when the time comes for you hand off your baton, you can joyously and confidently say, ‘As for me, my life has already been poured out as an offering to God. The time of my death is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. And now the prize awaits me—the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on the day of his return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to his appearing.’ 2 Timothy 4:6-8

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m feeling ill at the moment – although I’m sure it doesn’t compare to you. I enjoy the John Wayne movies I’ve seen – The War Wagon, The Green Berets, and The Greatest Story Ever Told. Oh, and Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (yes, he’s in that).

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Ryan, sorry to hear you’re still coughing! It’s been 3 weeks and you should be about done with it. This winter it took me 3 weeks to finally get over mine. I’m praying, Ry, that your bug will be for you, too!!! I can’t imagine not being able to take anything for it…I practically live on antibiotics when I get sick like that. So sorry you can’t so you’re sickness gets over faster. You are a strong, gritty guy! Your writing is so true. And, I just love the True Grit picture of John Wayne you chose to make your point. That’s what we must do when we are going through hard things in this life, especially when we suffer. No matter what we are going through, we must have hope in Jesus, and remember we are never alone…ever. With hope and faith, our beautiful Glory is waiting for us!! Amen, Ryan.
    I miss your writings, too, they are so uplifting. They mean a lot to people, because you do.
    “Dear God, please have Ryan feel better tonight! ” In Jesus’ name, Amen! Love you, Mom

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Thank God you are still able to write as beautifully as you do….illness has not taken away your talents. Always in my prayers!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Thank you Ryan for this exceptional post. Your encouragement for others in your own suffering is to be commended. Praying for you Ryan.
    I have been fighting a virus for well over a week now. The coughing is so bad it caused a hernia. Nothing like what you are going through, BUT GOD allows these trials to make us more like Jesus .

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Prayers for you Ryan and your family with the daily fight you fight! We know suffering produces perseverance, but it’s tough a lot of days! I feel your pain on the part where when you get sick, it’s harder on you than most. Most people can’t comprehend this, because they expect everyone to bounce back like they can…We love John Wayne here. He do have to have true grit to make it in this life! 🙏

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Awesome Ryan! The John Wayne photo hastened my arrival, but your words and witness kept sitting and reading. While I have written many poems about faith and hope, your words far exceed any that I can write. You are an inspiring testament of how our unwavering faith can keep the hope alive. You epitomize “true grit.”

    Liked by 1 person

  12. As usual very inspiring and thought provoking post sir.It’s possible to withstand the little sufferings of life only when we are united with the will of the Lord.One can acquire that by crucifying one’s own interests and wishes to the Holy Cross.Amen,Praise the Lord.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. now I know and I am sorry. My best friend of 38 years as Lyme disease and Paranoia Schizophrenia. I saw her physical and mental pain.. I am truly sorry and sad for you but you are a child of God and in Him find relief. Still I know is difficult.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I will pray for your friend. Not sure what that is like as I have never suffered Lyme disease or Paranoid Schizophrenia. Celiac is a genetic autoimmune disorder. I can’t eat wheat. It destroyed the villi in my small intestine. I suffer from malabsorption due to that and can’t absorb nutrients or gain weight properly. I do find all the strength I need in the Lord. He has always been faithful to me.


      3. Please pray once for me as well. I have 3 mental illnesses since I was a child plus Trauma as I was molested sexually and more bad things. I was a terrible sinner but I am a born again Christian God is with me by His Spirit.

        Liked by 1 person

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