The Gift of Suffering




We don’t often consider any of these gifts. In fact, we try to avoid them as much as possible. We take medicine and avoid activities where there may be an increased chance of injury or residual pain. A growing segment of the medical industry is specifically tailored for pain management. We all have pain, it is how are we going to cope and work around it.

One of my brother Brian’s favorite lines is, “Pain is just weakness leaving the body.” Whether it is from his days as an active duty Marine or as an amateur power lifter, I don’t know but he has said it to me on more than one occasion (and none of them were after my heart attack).

I began to think though that if pain IS weakness leaving the body, could suffering be SIN leaving the body.

We don’t like suffering or pain or trials, but God often uses them to create in us character. To refine us so that we might be more like Jesus. Philippians 1:6, “He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” That work that Jesus does in our life sometimes brings the pain of refinement until His glory may be revealed in and through us.

Too often we get stuck on the suffering, stuck in the trial and we don’t stop to think of what will happen on the other side of the storm. What will be revealed in us and through us as we suffer. Suffering often keeps people from faith, but suffering is often what God uses to reveal deeper faith in us. Just like a piece of wood needs to be cut and sanded to be shaped into a useful piece of furniture or art, God uses our sufferings to shape and refine us to be used for His purposes.

Maybe the pain you are going through right now will bring about glory for Jesus as you are able to tell your story to others. If you are in a period of suffering now, consider it a gift as God develops you for greater work ahead.


~ by mikefoster on April 21, 2015.

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