Every adversity that comes across our path, whether large or small, is intended to help us grow in some way. If it were not beneficial, God would not allow it or send it, “For he does not willingly bring affliction or grief to the children of men” (Lamentations 3:33). God does not delight in our sufferings. He brings only that which is necessary, but He does not shrink from that which will help us grow.
Look, as our greatest good comes through the sufferings of Christ, so God’s greatest glory that He hath from His saints comes through their sufferings.
You must submit to supreme suffering in order to discover the completion of joy.
The real problem is not why some pious, humble, believing people suffer, but why some do not.
But pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: It is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.
It is a fact of Christian experience that life is a series of troughs and peaks. In His efforts to get permanent possession of the soul, God relies on the troughs more than the peaks. And some of His special favorites have gone through longer and deeper troughs than anyone else.
Thankfully, joy is an all-season response to life. Even in the dark times, sorrow enlarges the capacity of the heart for joy. Like a diamond against black velvet, true spiritual joy shines brightest against the darkness of trials, tragedies and testing.
Can we wish, if it were possible, to walk in a path strewed with flowers when His was strewed with thorns?
As God’s dear children, we, who are by grace adopted, are called into the fellowship of suffering, soon enough to be followed by stupendous glory, with the only begotten Son. The suffering precedes the glory; the cross precedes the crown, both in the order of experience of the eternal Son of God and also in that of adopted sons and daughters of God (Douglas Kelly).
Suffering is generally portrayed in the Bible as the necessary and God-ordained, though not God-pleasing, plight of this fallen world (Romans 8:20-25, Ezekiel 18:32), and especially the necessary portion of all who would enter the kingdom (Acts 14:22; 1 Thessalonians 3:3-4) and live lives of godliness (2 Timothy 3:12). This suffering is never viewed merely as a tragedy. It is also viewed as a means of growing deep with God and becoming strong in this life (Romans 5:3-5; James 1:3-4; Hebrews 12:3-11; 2 Corinthians 1:9; 4:7-12; 12:7-10) and becoming something glorious in the life to come (2 Corinthians 4:17; Romans 8:18).
The servant of Christ must never be surprised if he has to drink of the same cup with His Lord.
Let all true Christians remember, that their best things are yet to come. Let us count it no strange thing, if we have sufferings in this present time. It is a season of probation. We are yet at school. We are learning patience, gentleness, and meekness, which we could hardly learn if we had our good things now. But there is an eternal holiday yet to begin. For this let us wait quietly. It will make amends for all. “Our light affliction which is for the moment, works for us more and more exceedingly an eternal weight of glory” (2 Cor. 4:17).
Good people must never expect to escape troubles; if they do, they will be disappointed, for none of their predecessors have been without them.