The Lord has made everything for its purpose, even the wicked for the day of trouble. Proverbs 16:4
God uses suffering as an antidote to our fleshy nature.
In a sense, suffering is like the painful chemotherapy to the cancer of sinfulness in our lives. We can emerge from the “treatment” free of a particular type of “cancer” such as pride, fear or rebellion, or we can fall back into the deathly sickness of sin when we don’t learn the lessons intended for us.
No one welcomes suffering. Some Christians think that God will miraculously remove all their suffering once they accept Jesus as their Saviour. In a sense, He does. He removes the harmful effects of our suffering, but not necessarily the suffering itself.
God always allows evil and suffering to persist for a period of time to accomplish His higher purposes. The Bible states that there is a purpose for everything, even the wicked (Proverbs 16:4).
God did not spare His own Son from this principle. From Luke 6, we see that Jesus chose Judas Iscariot to be one of His 12 disciples, fully aware that Judas would betray Him to a horrific death. At the Last Supper, John 13:27 says that “As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him. So Jesus told him, ‘What you are about to do, do quickly.’”
Jesus knowingly chose someone who would turn to Satan and betray Him, because He understood the importance of following God’s higher purpose instead of our own self-interest.
Respond to God’s Higher Purpose in your own sufferings by:
- Thanking Him for knowing everything about you (your desires, needs and sufferings) and asking Him to show you His higher and greater purpose for your life.
- Repenting if your love for God has been conditional on getting what you like and not relying on Holy Spirit for wisdom, grace and endurance to behave in a way that glorifies Him.