A Short Course on the Significance of Suffering – Part One

“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.” James 1: 2, 3 

Jesus suffered the pain of loneliness, the agony of ostracism, the anguish of isolation, the craving of hunger, the anxiety of betrayal, the dilemma of denial, the humiliation of public rejection, and the torture of the cross.

You gotta problem? He can relate. The issue is whether you will relate to Him in your time of suffering.

Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “All I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen.”

There are times when we can’t see. That is, things happen that we can’t understand. It is then we must exercise faith in what is unseen.

It is then we can relate to Isaiah 50: 10, “Who among you fears the Lord and obeys the word of His servant? Let him who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of the Lord and rely on his God.”

Put this in the warehouse of your memories: “Joy isn’t the absence of pain and problems, it’s the presence of Jesus Christ.”

When you come to the point of realizing all you need is Jesus, then Jesus provides all you need. That is a clever cliche, but I know personally it is a good biblical worldview.

Play that over and over on the soundtrack of your mind until you can repeat it in your sleep — or in your hours of sleepless agony.

Our sovereign Creator, the Lord God, made a choice to give human beings a free will. With that came the choice between good and evil; good and bad. A paraphrase of a statement by Augustine says it well”, “God thought it better to bring good out of bad than not let the bad exist.” 

God is not out to bring about bad things for us, but to bring the good out of the bad things that happen to us.

Consider that in light of Isaiah’s comment regarding walking in the dark when there is no light. Some things can only be seen in the dark. For example, the darker the night the brighter the stars. The more difficult the circumstances, the more precious is our Lord. It is when we can’t see we must “trust in the name of the Lord, and rely on… God.”

Then your adversities become your advantages.

Tribulation can result in triumph.

Hear Emerson again, “All I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen.”

Follow the beloved Lord, He sees around the curve in the road.