Suffering and the Glory of God

“God does not desire suffering as an end in itself, I am sure. But all suffering is so expensive he will not let it be wasted. He will use it for his children’s growth. The first purpose of our lives must be, “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done.” This is never a passive statement of endurance or of mere agreement to submit to whatever happens. It is a positive statement of the will to reach out for that which will bring glory to God. I am also sure that the greatest prayer we can pray is, “Whatever brings the greatest glory to God, I want it, even if it brings suffering and loss to me” (Anna Mow).

I don’t think the Bible ever teaches us to seek out ways to suffer. It never tells us to run after pain and hardship. But it say that those things will come. Jesus promised that in this life you will have suffering. But He didn’t end it there.

He also said that I have overcome the world. Not I WILL overcome, but I HAVE overcome. The deed is done. Your suffering serves a purpose and will never be wasted. It leads to somewhere better than your comfort and security or prosperity could ever have led you.

The best way is to pray, “Thy will be done,” whether it leads to sunshine or suffering. Any success apart from the will of God will be empty and meaningless. Even the suffering of going through the valley of the shadow of death is worth it if God is with you and you can see Him and know Him better through your trials.

“I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:12-13, NLT).

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