I don't like to suffer. I am not a glutton for punishment. But like us all I get my share. I have wondered why this might be.
In my wondering....it occurred to me that without an up...there is no down. Without an east....there is no west. Likewise it makes sense to me that without suffering ...there can be no pleasure. It would be unnoticed and unappreciated without a comparison.
I have learned that in the Gym when we work out with weights we damage our muscles to some extent. Those biceps suffer. But as the body repairs the muscles they get stronger. This is a solid example of suffering creating strength.
Maybe in your younger days, you, like me, used a rubber band to propel an object far into the distance. That object would go nowhere had you not pulled and stretched the rubber band backwards in the opposite direction before letting go. Perhaps suffering is the necessary pull back in the journey of life...shooting us forward into joy of eternal life.
However one may look at it, there are at least three things that are absolutely certain for Christ followers:
1. We will experience suffering.
2. Our troubles and suffering won't last forever.
The season of suffering will pass. There will be times of refreshment.
3. God will use suffering for good...it's a promise.
Bob Clarke - Director of Ministry Operations