God Is Building Something You Can't See
We don't like to suffer. We generally expend great effort and resources to ensure that we can avoid it. But, as you probably know, it can't be avoided. No matter how hard we try, it comes. It interrupts. It assaults us, often when we least expect it. The apostle Paul assured us as much, "saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God" (Acts 14:22).
The only way to withstand the suffering - with our faith intact - is to keep our eyes on Jesus, trusting that he is using our trials and pain for something good. Not just something good, but something better than we would experience if we had avoided the suffering. In other words, we must believe that through our suffering, God is building something for us that we could not get any other way.
What's he building through our suffering? What good result will our hardships yield? Here are a few reminders:
- "an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading" (1 Peter 1:4)
- "All things work together for good... to be conformed to the image of his Son" (Romans 8:28-29)
- "suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope" (Romans 5:3-4)
- "to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead" (2 Corinthians 1:9)
God is at work in more ways than we could possibly know or see at any given time. The joy that he is storing up for us, through our endurance of painful trials and loss, is better than we can imagine. Tim Keller said, "God will only give you what you would have asked for if you knew everything he knows." This is the nature of faith. It says, "God, I trust you to know better than I know. I choose to believe that you are preparing a better, brighter future in your presence than I can imagine, and it's for my good and your glory ."
So take heart, friends. If you're in a season of suffering now, know that God is hard at work on your behalf, storing up unimaginable treasures in a world you can't yet see. But one day, you will. And it will all be worth it.
"For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed to us." - Romans 8:18