These seasons of suffering may be brought
about by relational difficulties, financial hardships, or other trials. But as God's
children, we can take heart in knowing that our pain is not wasted.
Sometimes our pain is for the eternal benefit of others. God uses it to reveal the
genuineness of our faith so that others might see it and be drawn to His Son. By the way
we respond to adversity, our belief in Jesus becomes visible to those around us.
Believers will be encouraged, and seekers will ask us questions about our faith.
At other times, God uses trials to teach us to obey. Hebrews 5:8 tells us that even
our Savior learned obedience from the things He suffered. Another purpose of hardship is
to broaden our ministry. The apostle Paul's imprisonment let him minister among the
guards, resulting in the salvation of many.
Difficulties can also be the Lord's tool in preventing a problem from
happening such as the unidentified ailment that kept Paul from becoming prideful. When
disobedience threatens our walk with God, He will take whatever steps are needed to draw
us back to Him. He may allow a need to remain unmet or something cherished to be removed.
His purpose is that we confess our sin and return to Him.
We may not know the reasons for our heartaches, the wisest choice we can make is to
trust the Heavenly Father. After all, He who saved us through the sacrifice of His Son
has promised to use our suffering to bring about good.