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Suffering: hopeless or hopeful?

Posted by lauraoli on May 21, 2010

On Sunday we had a talk entitled ‘Why does a God of love allow suffering?’ in our church. It was given, very eloquently, by a man who had been through his fair share of suffering, and although I didn’t agree with absolutely everything he said, some of his talk really impacted upon me.

He spoke of how he can now see the way God has used all those awful experiences that had happened in his life for good purposes, and that this is a truth that we can hold on to – no matter what suffering we are going through, we can be sure that God will use it in a beneficial way, although, obviously, we may not be able to see that at the time. But this is fantastic news! It means that suffering is NEVER pointless. That’s a great thing for Christians to hold onto when they are going through a rough patch in their lives. All those people who dispute the existence of God have no hope during times of suffering, because if we are all just here because of random chance, then there is absolutely no benefit ever to be found in suffering.

Paul has some encouraging things to say about this in Romans:

I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.      Romans 8:18

Nothing is too awful in this life that it is not worth going through for the hope of the glorious life to come. That’s going to be a whole lot better than anything we can imagine.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him.      Romans 8:28

Whatever is happening, however terrible, we can be sure that God will use it in some way for our benefit and for our good. What an amazing thing to know! Suffering is NEVER pointless.


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