I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. – Philippians 4:12
The apostle Paul doesn’t stop writing at the conclusion of the Scripture above. He continued and penned one of the most popular lines in the Word of God, “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” Many of us wake up each morning with burdens that seem far too great for us to bear, and the truth is, they are. However, nothing is too great for the Lord.
Since the beginning of time, the one question that has filled the hearts and minds of men is, why does God allow us to suffer? We will not have an absolute answer to this question until we are standing in His presence, but we do know that suffering teaches us several things.
First, God can use suffering of any kind to draw us into a closer relationship with Him. Paul was doing God’s will, yet he found himself in a Roman prison. A deep devotion to the Lord never excuses us from pain and trial. However, it will draw us closer as we place our faith in His ability to strengthen and deliver us.
Second, suffering teaches us to be sensitive to those around us who are hurting. If we never face heartache or trial, we will know very little about how to comfort the people God brings into our lives—some who have very deep needs. (Read 2 Corinthian 1:6.)
Third, suffering teaches us patience and endurance, especially as we press closer to Christ through the reading of His Word.