“For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.”
Not too long ago a lady that I went on several mission trips with died. She was such a wonderful person. She loved Jesus and was on fire for the Lord. And she was always so nice to me. I considered her my friend. Her death was hard to understand. Why would God take someone that seemed to be so effective for His kingdom here on earth?
In my dream last night my friend was with a few other women. One of the women, I believe, stated that my friend could be healed. But I stepped forward and said something like this: “No, sometimes God allows us to go through a special suffering to reveal Christ in our lives.” As I was about to walk away I said to my friend, “The only thing that matters is Jesus!” I said it so loud that I think I surprised myself and embarrassed myself a little. Then I woke up.
The Scripture says that there is a suffering that is according to the will of God (I Peter 4:19). “Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator.” The Scripture says, “…rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.” (vs. 12, 13)
Why does God allow us to go through suffering? God’s purpose is to perfect His children through suffering. Not a fun topic, I know. Not a topic to jump up and down about. But God reveals Himself through our suffering. God is forming Christ within us. He is making us more like Jesus. When we press up against the cross, embracing the death that Jesus died, we are truly in a place where we can become like Christ. But the story does not end here. “Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory” (Romans 8:17). After Jesus’ suffering came a resurrection! God’s purpose is not that we suffer on and on, forever and ever. His purpose is that we also experience His resurrection life. Things that need to change in our lives can be changed.
I believe in divine healing. I believe with all my heart that God can, does, and will heal. But I also believe that sometimes God calls us to through things that are difficult. This difficulty could come in the form of persecution. It could also come in the form of some other difficulty. He does not always remove our problems. We cannot pray away every problem. If we suffer according to God’s will we need to submit ourselves to our Faithful Creator and realize that God has a purpose in it (see I Peter 4:19).
Last night, after going back to sleep, I dreamt more. When I woke up again the song was in my heart, “How Deep the Father’s Love For Us.” Beloved, God loves you. The suffering you may be enduring is not a sign of rejection. It may, in fact, be a sign of God’s approval on your life. You are His child, His son or His daughter. He is at work in you, forming you into the man or woman of God He wants you to be. You may not see the progress you are making, but you are getting stronger!
“But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.” – I Peter 5:10