I am posting this because I am tired of studying and found this in my papers. You can find my professor's version of this assignment here.
1. Look up. Be honest with the Lord, and give Him your questions, your pain, your fear or anger. Remember that He is sovereign and allows nothing by chance. As you turn to Him, you turn to the One who has experienced the most extreme suffering eternity has ever witnessed. He is powerful, purposeful and patient, and He is your gentle Shepherd who is intensely affected by your pain.
2. Don’t suppress the urge to weep; allow the tears to come. The brokenness and pain of this fallen world should affect us. Suffering is proof that something is dreadfully wrong with this world, and pretending all is well doesn’t make it well. The fact that we know that the Healer has come is our hope, but while we are in this life, we still feel the effects of sin. It is still a heart-breaking thing.
3. Allow and/or request company. Hold on to people who hold out the hope that God is still good, especially those who will persist in holding that hope out to you whether you take it or not. Be open about your struggles. We cannot help each other if our wounds are hidden from the body of Christ. Suffering can be very isolating, so try as best as you can to be proactive in working against this.
4. Find words to express what’s going on. Can you write or speak about it? Perhaps someone else’s words fit your experience. Scripture, prayers, poetry, music, even art can all communicate and can also help to connect you to others.
5. Look for ways to minister to others. This doesn’t have to be an intense organized ministry movement – start by praying for others. See if you can find someone struggling with similar issues to yours, and find a way to let them know that you are beside them. See if you can find someone who is joyful in something where you are able to join them in their rejoicing.
6. In everything give thanks. Keep looking for ways that God’s love is displayed to you daily; especially when you feel the farthest from it. Seek beauty; seek joy even when you’re convinced that life is an unending pit of gray fog.
7. Remember that pain will one day cease. You may never experience a pain-free day on this earth, but you have the promise that the day will come when your tears will all be wiped away.