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The Promise of Suffering

There are many promises for the believer given by God in the scriptures, but there’s one promise we’re often hesitant to claim, or even acknowledge as part and parcel of our fellowship with Jesus Christ. It’s the promise of suffering.

Which of us, left to ourselves, would choose suffering over joy? And yet when suffering comes, haven’t we experienced God’s grace in its midst?

For there is also a promise in suffering. The loss of a dream, a loved one, a job, good health or independence, all these temporal experiences for the believer bring about eternal gain—in a realization of the need for Christ’s sustaining strength, for His peace that is deeper than our understanding, and for the sweetness of intimacy in our trust in and fellowship with Him, tested through the fires of disappointment, setback, or grief.

Loss and suffering also bring gain in the form of soul-stretching. It’s in the constricting of our outward lives—through distress, as the psalmist declares—that inwardly our souls are enlarged.

Original Devotion by Lori Benton, author of Burning Sky

Daily Reflection: How has God prepared you for the greater works and blessings He has in store for you through the work of enlarging—and comforting?

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