“All day long I have been afflicted, and every morning brings new punishments.” (Psalm 73:14)
Some days it seems like there’s no end to the pain we struggle with. It can almost lead one to the point of wanting to give up and just tell God “I cannot take it anymore. Please, take me home to be with You.” Ongoing suffering can seem so pointless, especially when we see how it affects our loved ones and how it makes us feel as if we are simply watching others live their lives as we sit and watch life pass us by.
Can we come to terms with the fact that suffering is a real thing in this life while at the same time believing that the God of the Holy Bible is a God of love? Many of us have come to understand through reading Scripture, or having heard stories from the Holy Bible, that suffering is a part of life.
The main story that often comes to mind is the story of Job. We hear of the ultimate story of suffering when we hear about our Lord Jesus Christ dying on the cross for our sins. But how do we respond when suffering affects us personally?
Unfortunately, suffering is just one of the many tools that God uses to do a work in His children. I say “unfortunately” because that is how we as humans view it, but God views it entirely different. He sees it as a necessity in our lives because He knows what it produces in us, what it works out of us and how it helps us to eventually become even more like Christ.
I would propose to you that suffering can be a good thing in our lives, even though our minds would disagree. We read in 1 Peter 1:6,7 ” 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.”
John Newton refers to this as being in the “furnace of affliction” and says. . .
“The Lord is sitting by it as a refiner of silver, to moderate the fire, and manage the process, so that you shall lose nothing but dross (waste or impurities), and be brought forth as refined gold, to praise his name.”
Suffering often gives us the drive we need to press into God to help us get through the ordeal. It causes us to press into Him and in the process we can soar with Him above the storms of life. Instead of being upset or angry at God, ask Him what He’s trying to teach you or work out of you.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I pray that when I’m in pain that instead of focusing on it that You help me to focus on the unseen benefits that You are bringing out of it. Help me to see that being in Your furnace of affliction, while painful and seemingly endless, will result in my becoming refined and purer. Amen.
About the author:
Fiona Burky is a retired Licensed Clinical Counselor who lives in Ohio. It is only by God’s grace and strength that she has been able to endure her multiple health issues. You may view her blog at: http://fionab-growingbeyondyourpainfulpast.blogspot.com
In this video Hillsong United sings “Still.” Sometimes we just need to remember to be still so we can see what God is doing in the situation and find the purpose of it.
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