Saturday, September 30
A similar truth surfaced in the September issue of Guideposts. Kate Merrick submitted this little gem. “I have learned not to fear suffering, because it’s not my enemy but my teacher.” Like all of us, she had her times of suffering—and like us, she instinctively feared that more suffering would come. But she also learned something in the process. God is in control. He always has a reason for our suffering. It can be a means of getting our attention—as we are taught in Heb. 12. We punish our children because we love them and want them to correct wrong behavior. That’s just what God will do when we’re on the wrong track. But there are other reasons why God allows suffering. One of them is to be a witness to unbelievers. When we accept hardships with the conviction that God has a reason for it, we are diametrically opposing the world’s pattern. People will notice that. It draws attention to the Lord who “is not willing that any one perish.” A third reason for trials is to increase our trust in God. Trusting God is glorifying God. God no doubt has other reasons for suffering, too. But as Kate put it, suffering should never be feared. It always teaches us something. And a right response will always please God.