Each of us chose to participate in the “great plan of happiness,” yet often times our circumstances in this life feel anything but joyful. It’s easy to wonder—what’s the point? Why do we need to experience loss and grief? Physical pain and emotional turmoil? Elder Perkins reminds us, “Whatever the cause of your sufferings, your loving Heavenly Father can direct them to refine your soul.”
But how do we hold on when we are in the refiner’s fire? How do we keep our grip on what matters most? And how can we possibly continue to believe that this plan leads to happiness?
Jesus Christ. He is the answer to every question, every heartache, and every pain we experience in our lifetime. We don’t have to hold on alone; we don’t have to white-knuckle our way through anything. Elder Perkins said, “Your temporary moment of strength can never compare to the Savior’s infinite supply of power to fortify your soul.” When we choose to turn to Christ, He holds us through the worst of it and brings the best of us to light. As we keep our covenants with Him, He blesses us with His gifts of strength, compassion, empathy, and endurance.
No one understands pain more intimately than He does. He wants to commune and commiserate with us, even when we feel we are too low to be reached. Elder Perkins reminds us that it’s okay to be sad, to feel the pain while you’re in it. “Those who suffer often feel that the night just goes on and on, and daylight will never come. It is OK to weep. Yet, if you find yourself in dark nights of suffering, by choosing faith you can awake to bright mornings of rejoicing.”
Our faith can make us whole. It might not make us whole in the way we want or imagine, but it will wholly bring us to the Lord—refined and ready to receive.
What a comfort; what a gift.
I find strength beyond my own as I turn to the Lord. My suffering is not a result of a displeased God, but a refining God, who sent His Son to fortify my soul.
Spend some time communing with your Father. Get on your knees and tell Him what’s hurting you and how it feels. Pour out your heart and then stay on your knees. Pause for a moment. You will feel the outpouring of love you need to strengthen and uplift you; you will feel seen and heard.
Write down what you experienced and revisit it when you feel scared or sad. Our Father in Heaven has promised that He will not leave us comfortless.