What I’m about to write will go against the teachings of many preachers and churches, but the Bible is clear on this matter. Many times people assume that if a person has suffering or hardships in their life that means they must also have sin in their life. While it is true that we are warned in the scriptures not to suffer as an evil doer, it is also clear that many suffer while being in the perfect will of God.
In fact, sometimes the greatest blessings you can experience in your walk with Christ is the blessing of suffering. Throughout the pages of the scriptures we read instances of people who suffered, and their suffering resulted in blessings.
The lion that tried to kill Samson later feed him. A sick daughter brought Jarius to Jesus. Drought and depression brought Elijah to Mount Carmel. There was a flood in Noah’s life before there was a rainbow. Joseph suffered slavery and imprisonment before he saved the lives of millions of people. Jesus suffered the death of Calvary so that you and I can be saved. In fact the scriptures say that it was for the “joy that was set before Him” that He endured the cross.
I could tell you stories of Daniel in the lion’s den, the three Hebrew children in the furnace of fire, Paul’s beatings and ship wreck, Peter’s imprisonment, John’s exile on Patmos and the list goes on and on. All of these suffered, but they soon discovered that their suffering was actually a blessing in their life. Jesus promised you and me that if we are going to reign with Him we must first suffer with Him. You will learn more about God in the valley than you will on the mountain top.
A few years ago I taught a series of lessons on the thought “From Despair to Deliverance, The Story of Esther.” It amazed me that after I taught these lessons on despair many of the people shared with me how that God had blessed them during the lowest times of their lives.
A “preacher” may tell people “if you get saved all of your problems will just go away.” That sounds wonderful. A man who preaches that message will get many followers. It takes a true man of God however to stand up and tell people the truth that Christians may suffer while following Jesus. Jesus made it very clear that if a person wanted to “reign” with Him they must first “suffer” with Him.
If you are suffering today, and you know that you are right with God, please know that God has allowed those hardships into your life for a reason. The thing that is threatening your life today will be a blessing to you one day. God will teach you more about Himself, and how to trust Him during this time than any other time in your life. God will make your trial a blessing.