I cannot count the number of times I have had a suffering person say to
me, “If I knew why God is allowing this to happen, then I would be ok with
it.” We are always looking for the “why”
in every negative situation. Why does God allow some of His children to endure
heartache and sorrow? Are there some Christians who displease God and suffer punishment?
Does God let the devil torment us? We are always looking for the reasons behind
As Christians, we understand and believe God is sovereign. I often
remind my counselee’s that God is the sovereign God of the universe and He does
what He wants with what is His. Even when we are holding tightly to that truth,
we want to know the reasons behind our seasons of suffering.
"the God of all
comfort comforts us in all our tribulations so that we may be able to comfort others
with the same comfort which we are comforted of God." 2 Corinthians 2:3-7
I hear plenty of
complaining from those who are in a time of trial. Their complaints center on
how they are feeling about their suffering. Sometimes, the suffering person
does not want to experience God’s comfort because they are angry that God does
not magically end their discomfort. He
will comfort you in the midst of the situation.
God is working in the
season of suffering. He is challenging you and changing you through your trials.
God has a purpose and a plan in mind (Romans 8:28-29). James 1:2-4 teaches us that the end goal of
your trials is spiritual maturity. Some of the greatest times of spiritual
growth take place in the middle of horrible pain and suffering. It is the crucible of refinement and it
brings all the sinful garbage we have become so effective at hiding to the surface.
When I am under pressure during a trial, my sin leaks out of the nooks and
crannies of my sinful heart enabling me to see it and repent. I suspect this is
why we are to welcome our difficulties as friends.
Take what you are
experiencing and put it to use for the benefit of others. Our difficulties are
not only for us, they are for those around us too. Our friends, fellow church attenders and
family members may one day encounter the same things you are facing today. What
a blessing it would be to hear them say they modeled their response to trials after
ours! How wonderful to be a picture of Christ-likeness to another suffering
Take the long view of
suffering and trials. God is living and He is active in the lives of His
children. He will take your problems and your godly responses and make something
beautiful out of them.