Sometimes, we have to go through the ringer. It will not be all sweets on earth, and we HAVE TO suffer for God’s glory. His Son did – willingly and obediently on the cross – because He knew the Father’s worthiness and the greatness of His purpose, which is to glorify His Father in saving sinners appointed to eternal life before the world began.
This great purpose requires our suffering too, even as Paul suffered to get us the gospel. He said, “This is why I endure all things for the elect’s sake: so that they also may obtain salvation, which is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory (2 Tim 2:10).”
1 We can stop praying for everything to be easy, as if heaven is on earth! It is not, but if we believe, then we’ll see His glory – that He is good, gracious, and saves sinners. He’s merciful beyond our wildest dreams, with infinite wisdom above us, and power to heal us, though He leaves us in sickness to sing His praises with broken hearts of adoration, in spite of all the adversity we must suffer.
2 Paul suffered. He was given a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan, to beat him down. He says, “Especially because of the extraordinary revelations, therefore, so that I would not exalt myself, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, an angel of Satan to torment me so I would not exalt myself (2 Cor 12:7).” So, Paul gloried in his afflictions, because he knew when he was weak – battered and bruised by persecution and difficulty – he was actually strong, because grace would take over, making him MORE ABLE to preach the gospel than he would be with ease (2 Cor 12:9).
Look at your own sufferings the same way. They come from God to glorify Him by faith. They afflict, so you can believe, right where you are.
3 Roll away the stone of unbelief, and stop saying that He cannot bless you in the situation. Look up to Him in prayer. Having food and shelter, be content. God died for us in the Person of Christ: Will He withhold any grace that we need, or leave us anywhere without sufficiency? Rom 8:32, “He spared not His own Son but offered Him up for us all [the elect, those who trust Christ]; how will He not also with Him grant us everything?”
Lay hold of the promise and take Him at His word. This hardship you’re enduring is not to cast you away. It is not to break your fellowship with God. It is not intended to make you quit believing the same God of the good seasons. He raised Lazarus because He has power. He let Him die because His wisdom knew it was better for us to see MORE OF CHRIST, than human comforts!
Let circumstances come, pray away what you can, but submit to God in Christ. He’ll be with you and guide you. He knows we are but dust! Ps 103:14, “For He knows what we are made of, remembering that we are dust.”