Questions abound as to why there is suffering in this world. Why must Christians suffer? What good does it do? What is the point? Why doesn't God just make it all go away and "heal the child" or "give their finances back" or "make the situation better"? "Why doesn't God DO SOMETHING?" Well, my dear friends, I am here to tell you that in each of our lives, and most specifically through trials, God IS doing something.
He is sanctifying us. Through the years I have been taught that suffering draws us closer to the LORD more than any other vehicle through which growth is obtained. When we are emptied of ourselves and cast upon the Cross of Christ, that to which we cling becomes our foremost thought, hope and desire. Sin melts in light of the Cross, becomes despised, wretched and ugly. Sin is abandoned that we might be sanctified in Jesus, taught to suffer as he suffered, giving glory to God and upon Him casting our entire being, mind, body, and soul.
He is purifying us. Suffering refines us as fire to gold and melts away that in us which is not pleasing to God. Like fire, it brings to the surface what we are without Him and burns away our self-sufficiency, pride, and carelessness until we are left broken, humbled, and overwhelmed by the grace and mercy of God.
He is perfecting us. In suffering, every breath I draw, every tear I cry, every sorrow I feel ought be done in worship and praise and submission to the glory, sovereignty, and holiness of God. Worship poured out from a heart buffeted and weary, wounded and sorrowful, squeezed out from a place of unspeakable pain, is worship most beautiful, accepted of God, holy, pure, and pleasing. It is refined worship. It is a worship that denies self, denies comfort, denies earthly happiness and, in the midst of tragedy and heartache, still cries out, "You are God."
God IS doing something when we suffer. He is producing in us patience and hope. He is revealing the greatness of the Gospel. He is revealing the greatness of His grace and mercy. He is revealing His marvelous love. And ultimately, He is making us like Himself. For this reason alone, we can praise Him through the darkest of trials, the worst of storms, and the deepest of pits into which we find ourselves fallen.
but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. Romans 5:3-5