In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith-of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire-may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. — 1 Peter 1:6-7
The affects of suffering can be permanent and the scars left can bring us to our knees. Yet in God’s economy, suffering is one of the surest ways to draw us to Himself. He uses this severe tool in a benevolent way to do a hidden work in us.
This verse states that trials come to strengthen our faith, not to destroy us. They come to bring life, beauty and promise. The condition of our faith is far more important to God than the condition of our comfort. That can be hard to swallow at times.
During times of suffering it’s really easy to succumb to fear and to quietly question the validity of God’s love and perfect keeping. His Word must be a constant part of our lives because it acts as a lighthouse in the storm. It reminds us and guides us so we don’t shipwreck our faith or get lost in the sea of doubt.
Elisabeth Elliot defined joy as not the absence of suffering, but the presence of God. During the darker seasons, may we be comforted that our heavenly Father is lovingly at work. His purposes are higher and His love is greater than we could ever understand.
Loving Father, help me to trust You when You allow me to be uncomfortable and afraid. Remind me of Your ability to work all things together for my good and for Your glory. Amen.
Do you see purpose in suffering?
Would you agree that there are some works God can only achieve through His allowance of our suffering?