Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. Romans 5:3-4
I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. Romans 8:18
We can all rely on God’s word for comfort, truth and grace. The issue of suffering is spoken of vastly throughout God’s word. The reason why it is talked about is because God knew that every one of us goes through suffering in this lifetime.
There is no getting around the fact that suffering is part of the life of those who follow Christ and also those who do not. Suffering is a human experience that is a guarantee. The hope that we have in Christ Jesus is that the Holy Spirit is with us to hold us and walk us through our suffering.
Paul says it in a way that is difficult to apply but nevertheless it is truth. He says that he finds glory in his suffering because he understood that suffering produces something beautiful in the life of a follower of Jesus. Suffering gives birth to perseverance and then once perseverance is birthed, it develops our character, and once our character is developed we are filled with hope. The precious process of arriving at hope is so great a gift for our lives.
Romans 5:5 tells us about hope; “And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.”
Hope never fails, it never disappoints and it is the end result of suffering.
God uses suffering to produce in us the very character of Christ Himself. In my own life, there are many things that God wants to die. Things that are residual from my past. When I came out of perversion and addiction, they left an imprint on my soul that still needed to be dealt with. I may have walked away from the past but the process of removing what is inside of us from the past does not all happen at once. This is where the scripture work out your own salvation with fear and trembling comes into action.
When we are saved, we begin our walk at the start line. There are still mindsets, strongholds, actions, temptations and many other things that we need to recognize and work on with the help of the Holy Spirit.
Gone are the days of placing people on pedestals who are in ministry. Gone are the days of looking to man as if they are perfect. God uses imperfect people to share the good news of a perfect God! Most every great man of God in the Bible had terrible seasons in their lives of sorrow, sin, failure, hopelessness and fear. These human experiences did not remove the call of God on their lives. God saw in them their destiny and what He created them to do. What they all had in common was the human experience of suffering.
Some of us walk through more suffering than others. What I know to be true is that through all that I have suffered and continue to suffer through, God is using all things to work something good in my life and the same is true for you. God sees all and He uses all things to mold us and make us into who He designed us to be.
Hebrews 5:8 tells us, “Even though Jesus was God’s Son, he learned obedience from the things he suffered.”
Imagine that, Jesus Himself went through suffering in order for Him to learn obedience. This is one tough pill to swallow. Obedience is learned through suffering, OUCH! Because we all have different personalities we all learn at different rates, but one common denominator is that all of us learn to obey through the teacher called suffering.
My prayer is that you and I will trust in the One who delivers and the One who walks with us through every fire, every affliction and every suffering. This One is Jesus our great hope and great reward.
Trust the process He has you on. Know that there is purpose in your pain. Nothing goes unnoticed by God and if you mess up or fall, get back up! Our faith attracts God and in plain terms, faith is having blind and total trust in God. That is something we all can grow in, trusting Him no matter what!
There is purpose in your pain!
Pastor Michael Cannatello