The Good in Suffering
“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.” Romans 8:28-30
When difficult seasons arise, and we are struggling to stand strong, a verse we are often reminded of is Romans 8:28—for God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God.
This is a comforting promise, but when it stands alone with us in the midst of a trial, and we are soaking our pillow with tears, we may be wondering what that good could possibly be.
If we continue to read on past verse 28, God defines the “good.” The good that we can’t see now is our sanctification. God predestined each believer before the foundations of the Earth to become Christ-like, and He promises to see each of them to glorification (Ephesians 1:4).
Part of this process is suffering. 1 Peter 1:6-7 says, “In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ."
Friend, your suffering is not in vain. Though it may seem endless and useless now, and the good is clouded by the smoke of trials, God promises that He is using it to shape you into Christ-likeness. You will come out stronger by the grace of God.
God, I am suffering. I am striving for relief, but the flames of the trial are still burning me. Help me to stand strong in my faith through this difficulty. Help me to grow and become more like Christ through this trial. Help me to find the joy in the midst of this suffering. Thank You for using this trial to strengthen me. Amen.
If you are suffering, find a friend you can walk through this trial with—someone who can remind you of God’s love and the good work he is doing through this trial for the days when you become discouraged.