Suffering is such a broad word. There is the suffering that comes from prison camps and torture chambers, and there is suffering from a runny and achy nose. I read recently that when we suffer we attract advice like “money attracts thieves.” Everyone has an idea concerning what is wrong with us and a prescription for how to get out of it. The torturers always offer and alternative to the pain they inflict, but usually what they suggest will only bring on a new form of suffering. Maybe not so physically painful, but perhaps more emotionally. Even friends and family offer at first sympathy and then advice, but if we fail to come around we are usually abandoned to our misery.
There are times when no matter what the degree of suffering, what we need is not prescriptions, advice, or sympathy but Hope and Hope is always found in God.
When we truly suffer, and as humans we will all experience suffering, God’s way is not what we suffer but in the way we suffer. Whatever or whomever got us in trouble and produced the suffering cannot separate us from God. His way is redemption and hope, and redemption, not the suffering, is the ultimate.