There are times when suffering seems absolutely senseless.
What good is coming from daily migraines, or consistent financial struggle, or prolonged singleness? Can anything useful come from joint pain or struggling with an unbelieving family member? It’s hard for us to see it and we certainly don’t feel it. We just can’t see what God is doing in the midst of suffering.
But in 2 Corinthians 4:17-18, Paul gives us God’s divine perspective on suffering. He says:
For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen.
Through our current sufferings, God is preparing us for an incredible glory that is to come, and if we didn’t experience these sufferings, we wouldn’t be prepared for the glory. Ligon Duncan makes this point when he says:
You couldn’t bear the glory that God has in store for you, unless you had been held up by God in your affliction in this life. (From Does Grace Grow Best In Winter?)
Doesn’t that encourage you? Our sufferings are hard. They don’t always make sense to our limited minds. But we can know that God is using them to prepare us for something glorious.
God doesn’t waste suffering. He’s using your headaches, and backaches, and heartaches to prepare you for glory. If we didn’t experience the suffering, we wouldn’t be ready for the glory.