Are there really blessings in suffering? Our new devotional writer, Pastor Chris, shares his thoughts on this.

“We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair.” (2 Corinthians 4:8)

The greatest tragedy in anyone’s life is to live a life free from tragedy. When I talk like that it sounds crazy to some people. In fact it sounds crazy to most people. That’s because by the world’s standards it is crazy. The world says “avoid pain at all costs.” In God’s economy, suffering is a necessary part of seeing the sacred.

In my life as the pastor of a local church, I have traveled the pathway of pain, arm in arm with the angel of death many times. I’ve come to consider him a friend. When he comes, he strips away the blinders that we wear of self-reliance, self-indulgence, false-security, and physical strength. When he comes to visit, even long before he steals us away, he is a messenger of grace.

I was praying with one of the people whom I share my pilgrimage with today. He is in the hospital with great pain. We prayed for God to bring him healing. We asked God make Him well. We also thanked God for allowing the blindness caused by self-reliance to be stripped away by disease and pain.

Some people have never known pain and as a consequence. Though their eye sight may be healthy, their vision is blurred by self-importance. They are very much like I was the day my 3-year-old son quietly but persistently wrapped my glasses in an entire roll of clear tape. When I unknowingly put them I could see, but through a fog.

Suffering is not the result of God’s failure and the angel of death is not a demon. Suffering is God’s paint scraper to remove pride. The angel of death is like the one friend you have who will actually tell you the hard truth you need to hear. Consider the suffering of Christ. Pain and sorrow are the very means God used for our salvation. My friend, while pain isn’t easy, while sorrow sometimes crushes our hope, the Savior who hung on Calvary’s Cross, is the same Redeemer who is present in our pain.

Pain is the pathway to seeing the sacred. God is not a casual observer of our pain, it is a tool in the hand of the sovereign ruler of the universe to strip away everything that keeps us from turning to Him in brokenness–so He can pick up the pieces.

Prayer: Abba, Daddy, I’m hurting and need to know how to make sense of my pain. Won’t You strip away the blinders from my eyes. I need Your help. I can’t possibly do this on my own. Open my eyes to the beauty of Christ in the darkness of my pain. Amen.

Welcome to our newest writer:
Chris Surber is the Pastor at Cypress Chapel Christian Church in Suffolk, Virginia. He is a religion columnist for the Suffolk News Herald and a contributor to various Christian publications. You can his website at

How do we get past the shock of our pain to the place of seeing God at work in it? How has He done so in your life?

Have you ever heard the song “Blessings” by Laura Story? If not, you are in for one of the best surprises of your week! Grab a tissue. If we could have a theme song here at Rest Ministries, this one would be it. -Lisa