I want to tell you about a man named Paul who lived and worked not long after Jesus died. He suffered much in the process of spreading the news about Jesus. One thing I found amazing in his story is that in spite of being hated so much, suffering  imprisonment, hunger, thirst, mob attacks, beating, flogging, and even stoning – in  spite of all this – he was able to find peace and contentment.

While he was in prison he wrote the following: I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:11-13)

How amazing to be able to say that while undergoing such great hardship – while being on the receiving end of such hatred!

Do you know the story about Viktor Frankl? This Jewish physician was incarcerated in a concentration camp during the Second World War. Here he had the job of treating his fellow prisoners. On later reflection he noticed how those who survived were those who stopped questioning why this was happening to them. Instead they responded to life as though life had asked of them, “What will you make of me?” Those who whined and complained, wallowing in their misery, were the first to die.

DBT teaches us something similar to this. It teaches us radical acceptance, going with our circumstances , however painful. We are taught to choose intentional and effective responses to the pain and how it affects our lives. We need to be willing to listen to our pain without judging or rejecting it, then let it become a mentor of sorts as we learn from it.

What can we do with our pain? Where could it take us? What good could come out of it?

Will I be able to accept it this way too? Will I, like Paul, have the strength to be content, no matter what the circumstances? Will I be able to trust God? …My God, who says He will give me the strength to do so?