– Peter Marshall
What is one reason that we suffer? The Apostle Paul tells us “the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God” (2nd Cor 1:3b-4). If you have suffered and God has comforted you, then this is part of God’s plan for you to comfort others with the same comfort that “we ourselves are comforted by God.” So your suffering helps others in their sufferings.
Good from Evil
We can read throughout the Bible where God uses evil for His good purposes like in the case of Joseph being thrown into prison. Joseph told his brothers that “you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today” (Gen 50:20), as he says, “God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant on earth, and to keep alive for you many survivors” (Gen 45:7). All we need to do is look at the cross to see how much good came from that evil (John 3:16).
Dependency on God
When the psalmist was in trouble, he did what we ought to do and that is cry out “to God Most High, to God who fulfills his purpose for me” (Psalm 57:2), so we should both say, “I call to God, and the LORD will save me” (Psalm 55:16). God in His sovereignty allows troubles to come upon us but His plan includes a blessing from those difficulties, and if our difficulties make us more dependent upon God, that’s good, because that’s what He wants anyway.
If we are going through a trial right now, God wants this difficulty to help us share in the same comfort we’ve received from God and comfort others with it, but also to understand that God can use and has used evil for His own good purposes, even if the evil make us cling to God even tighter.