I get emails from North Langley Community Church and often stop to read short comments from pastor Rob Thiessen. This one is right on and sums up my inner conviction about suffering…not that I always accept it with the grace and joy I should:
Dear NLCC Family,
I recently had the privilege of hearing John Piper speak at Willingdon Church. My understanding of who God is and how He works in this world was definitely stretched! Piper’s message focused on how God is glorified through the suffering of Christ– that even in heaven, it is Jesus’ victory through suffering and death which is celebrated and magnified (Revelation 5:9). My orientation toward suffering is usually negative. I would like to avoid it and when I can’t, I grit my teeth and endure it. I don’t naturally ask myself the question, “How might God be glorified through my struggle?” but that might be exactly what God is up to.
This isn’t an easy subject. Real suffering brings real anguish and grief to us as it did to our Lord. But what an amazing truth to realize that even in the darkest moments of life, our Sovereign and Majestic God is bringing glory to Himself in and through us.
Are you in the middle of trial these days? Consider that God knows and will be faithful to bring Himself glory through your suffering. He may deliver you, heal you, or keep you there for a time, but in everything, He is at work for His glory and “for the good of those who love Him and have been called according to His purpose”. (Romans 8:28)