Our Sufferings Work for the Good.
Satan works to side track us from our glorious eternal destiny and delay its ultimate fulfillment. The Devil tempts us in mind to focus on our suffering, our grief, and our trials as the "poor me." As the "liar from the beginning," he works to tempt us to think "I have no hope."
Our Christian life won't work on the basis of ignorance. Thus the Apostle Paul repeatedly uses words such as; "Know ye not; understand, revelation, spirit of revelation in the knowledge of Him," We must come to know the truth of the "gospel of the grace of God" and our eternal destiny in order to have that "blessed hope" that sustain us in Pauline truth for the body of Christ.
Paul tells we are not people without hope. In fact the word "hope" in the Bible is better rendered as "confident expectation."
whom (by Christ) also we
have access by faith into this grace wherein we
stand, and rejoice in Hope (confident
the glory of
" To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the Hope (confident expectation) of glory:" (Colossians 1:27)
Despite what things may look like, we are to understand how purposeful of our trials are and we are to look through them to see the Lord's hand in all things, working for the eternal good. One teacher I knew said we ought to be "see throughers, not see atters." In other words we should not become fixated on the matter at hand but rather see through it to the Lord in hope, knowing He is working all things for the good.
Knowing the ultimate end, and His loving hand at work in our lives to prepare us for it, we have hope and can be content, atpeace in our hearts, even while in the midst of the storms of this life on earth.
"for It Is God Who Works In You Both To Will And To Do For His Good Pleasure; Do all things without complaining and disputing,; that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world." (Phili 2:13-15)
Paul wrote this concerning the awful situations and circumstances he had to endure.
" Not that I speak in respect of want: for I Have Learned, In Whatsoever State I Am, Therewith To Be Content. 12I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need." (Philippians 4:11-12)
The Lord would have us to become examples of His trusting and faithful ones, no matter what state we are in.
Our Lord is an ever present friend and suffers along with us. He asks you to "cast your cares upon me (Him)." He has a purpose for our trials and sufferings. Job, who suffered probably more than any other man gives us insight into how God controls the circumstances in our lives. As we've seen, Satan had to get God's permission to attack Job, but he could only go as far as God would allow it. The Lord has overall control in every situation... ALWAYS working or our eternal good.
Now consider the Apostle Paul and his experience with the chronic issue he experienced in his flesh. This is the same Paul to whom was committed the greatest revelations of all time... to give to us. He was divinely commissioned to proclaim the glorious all-sufficiency of Christ's redemptive work at the cross for us and in us. Paul made known God's offer of salvation by grace through faith to all who would trust in Christ. Paul taught us our present secure heavenly position and blessings are"in Christ." Paul says his own issue of suffering was given lest he should become puffed up by the glory of these great truths. The Lord gave Paul what he called "a thorn in the flesh," an aggravating physical infirmity of some sort. "For this thing," Paul says, "I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me" (2Cor. 12:8). But the Lord knew better than Paul what was good for him, "He (the Lord) said unto me. MY GRACE IS SUFFICIENT FOR THEE; FOR MY STRENGTH IS MADE PERFECT IN WEAKNESS" (2Cor. 12: 9).
The Lord told Paul that His power was working in Paul, to established Paul... through Paul experiencing his own weakness in the face of trials. Paul was turned by the most difficult situations to trust the Lord.
How right God is! Every Christian knows that with brimming health and "good fortune" comes the tendency to forget our need of dependence upon the Lord. It is infirmity and weakness that causes us to lean harder and to pray or commune all the more; this is where our spiritual resource lies. Every believer should realize this.
"Most gladly therefore will I (Paul) rather glory in my infirmities, (so) that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities… for when I am weak, then am I strong" (vs 9-10).
The fact is that infirmities of the flesh are common among ALL people including believers. What satisfaction there is for believers who will rest upon God's Word; "My grace is sufficient for thee, for My strength is made perfect in weakness."