One day God will turn our hurts into Hallelujahs.
– Dr. Rogers
Let me start by saying some of you are like, “Wow, I am so excited that our devotion is on suffering today.” Please understand that all of us will suffer in this life. We are either suffering right now, or we are going to go through suffering. It is a part of this fallen world. When we go through suffering, part of our “human being” asks the question “Why.” When we ask the question “why,” we bring the suffering into “our world” but please understand suffering is much bigger than us. There are so many people that started out following Jesus, but then life happened, the suffering, the pain, and the trials. They tried to make sense of it through their own life and couldn’t. They just got to the place when they said, “You know, it is not worth it” and walked away from their faith. Romans 8 has much to say about this.
The Scripture says we share in His (Jesus’) sufferings. This means, in the meantime, when you suffer, Christ is sharing in that suffering with you. You will never, as a believer, suffer alone. Is that not incredible news? It is a great truth; however, it does not make the pain go away. Paul is a guy that understood suffering; he was stoned and left for dead. Paul was imprisoned multiple times, and he had friends who abandoned him. Paul can relate to our suffering. He is not talking in theory here. He understands.
This passage points us to a truth that says. Many times through our suffering, God will do His greatest work. I have been pastoring FBA for ten years, and I have never had anyone drop in my office and say, “Pastor Brian, I wanted to stop in and tell you that my marriage is unbelievable. My business is booming. We are doing better financially than we ever have. I have never been healthier. My children wake up singing praises to the Lord. I just wanted to stop by and tell you how great things are going.” No one has ever done that. What typically happens is people will stop by when the bottom has fallen out of their life. There has been a diagnosis, a relationship has ended, there has been suffering or their world has been rocked. In the midst of that pain, they start to look up and God uses suffering. God has done some of the most significant work in my life in the darkest pain I have ever experienced.
I pray if you are in the midst of a season of suffering, this passage will encourage you. Remember, for the believer, the best is yet to come. There is coming a day that God will defeat suffering once and for all. Revelation 21:4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”