2 CORINTHIANS 12:7 - 10 (NASB)
7BECAUSE OF THE SURPASSING GREATNESS OF THE REVELATIONS, FOR THIS REASON, TO KEEP ME FROM EXALTING MYSELF, THERE WAS GIVEN ME A THORN IN THE FLESH, A MESSENGER OF SATAN TO TORMENT ME—TO KEEP ME FROM EXALTING MYSELF!
8CONCERNING THIS I IMPLORED THE LORD THREE TIMES THAT IT MIGHT LEAVE ME.
9AND HE HAS SAID TO ME, “MY GRACE IS SUFFICIENT FOR YOU, FOR POWER IS PERFECTED IN WEAKNESS.” MOST GLADLY, THEREFORE, I WILL RATHER BOAST ABOUT MY WEAKNESSES, SO THAT THE POWER OF CHRIST MAY DWELL IN ME.
10THEREFORE I AM WELL CONTENT WITH WEAKNESSES, WITH INSULTS, WITH DISTRESSES, WITH PERSECUTIONS, WITH DIFFICULTIES, FOR CHRIST’S SAKE; FOR WHEN I AM WEAK, THEN I AM STRONG.
The mystery of human suffering will not be solved completely in this life.
- Sometimes we suffer simply because we are human. Our bodies change as we grow older, and we are susceptible to the normal problems of life. The same body that can bring us pleasures can also bring us pains. The same family members and friends that delight us can also break our hearts.
- Sometimes we suffer because we are foolish and disobedient to the Lord. Our own rebellion may afflict us, or the Lord may see fit to chasten us in His love (Heb. 12:3). King David suffered greatly because of his sin; the consequences were painful and so was the discipline of God (see 2 Sam. 12:1-22; Ps. 51). In His grace, God forgives our sins; but in His sovereignty, He must permit us to reap what we sow.
- Sometimes suffering is a tool God uses for building godly character (Rom. 5:1-5). Certainly Paul was a man of rich Christian character because he permitted God to mold and make him in the painful experiences of his life.
“God’s delays are not God’s denials. “
ISAIAH 40:29 - 31 (KJV)
29HE GIVETH POWER TO THE FAINT; AND TO THEM THAT HAVE NO MIGHT HE INCREASETH STRENGTH.
30EVEN THE YOUTHS SHALL FAINT AND BE WEARY, AND THE YOUNG MEN SHALL UTTERLY FALL:
31BUT THEY THAT WAIT UPON THE LORD SHALL RENEW THEIR STRENGTH; THEY SHALL MOUNT UP WITH WINGS AS EAGLES; THEY SHALL RUN, AND NOT BE WEARY; AND THEY SHALL WALK, AND NOT FAINT.