Suffering is a way that God tests all the saints. I observe people and I see this reflected in the lives of those I come across. Suffering is spiritual resistance training. You don’t get stronger in spiritual warfare without an opponent (struggle), likewise you won’t become holy if God doesn’t make you suffer. You ever hear stories about great men or women of God and how they get sick frequently with dreadful diseases, even in cases where they are walking in a healing anointing and regularly heal others? I have heard many such stories. Even the Apostle Paul had a ‘thorn in the flesh’ that would not go away despit him praying three times. We’re not told what it was in the Bible apart from that it was a ‘messenger of Satan.’ It could have been a literal demon sent to torment Paul, or it could have been a physical illness. These are the types of “crosses” that God uses, 1) to make you humble and realise your reliance upon Him, and 2) to make you grow in holiness, but when He does this He will always supply a sufficient consolation that gives you enough hope to carry on in spite of those sufferings.
Thinking of Paul again, we’re told he was blessed with ‘an abundance of revelations’ by the Lord. Think how prideful he would have been if God didn’t give him this thorn in the flesh. Another example of this: you lose your job and get made homeless, but then on the street you begin fasting and praying and you have an encounter with God that leads to you walking in power like never before. God can take with one hand and give with the other. This is an example of the tender mercies of the Lord. Maybe your parent dies even though you prayed but then just at that moment God arranged for you to meet your wife. These are the types of sufferings that make you seek God. God knows if everything was good for you all the time you would not seek Him. You would say with Pharaoh, “Who is God to me?” For some of you the worst thing that could happen to you would be for God to take all your problems away. You would book yourself a one way ticket to hell no problem at all.
The sufferings God sends are a hallmark of your authenticity as a child of God. In the life of remnant believers there’s always a cross that they’re bearing, it may be big, it may be small, because people have different tolerances for pain, and different spiritual constitutions, but there’ll always be something they are suffering under. But still you will see alongside this, the tender mercies of God sprinkled liberally throughout. Hallelujah. Where there is suffering God will always supply mercy in equal or greater measure. God is so good, everything He does is for our benefit and with our eternal salvation in mind. Some of the suffering may seem senseless to us when we are in it but if we were able to stand back from the painting we would see that each paint stroke God was making was working towards the beautiful picture He has in mind. We can’t see the full picture because we’re in it but God can, with one stroke of His brush He might knock us down to the dust, while with the next we are soaring above the mountain tops. If you are suffering right now ask the Lord what He wants to teach you through it. If the suffering brings you closer to Him then there you have your answer. God knows we are fickle and He has to corral us into the narrow path otherwise like lambs we would wander to the broad path that leads to destruction! If God let us munch on green grass all day without a care in the world we would never find our way to the sheep pen so sometimes He tests us with suffering.
Scripture references below. ⬇️ 📖 🙏🏼
But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.
~ 1 Peter 5:10
For though I would desire to glory, I shall not be a fool; for I will say the truth: but now I forbear, lest any man should think of me above that which he seeth me to be, or that he heareth of me.
And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.
For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.
~ 2 Corinthians 12:6-8