Is Suffering Meaningless?

Let me have silence, and I will speak, and let come on me what may. Why should I take my flesh in my teeth and put my life in my hand? Though he slay me, I will hope in him; yet I will argue my ways to his face. This will be my salvation, that the godless shall not come before him. (Job 13:13-16 ESV). A Christian’s suffering is never meaningless. Job came to understand that truth in perhaps the most excruciating series of tragic personal crises. Because of God’s sovereign care for you, every pain in this life is producing a glory for you that will last forever. There have been many times when I have been thought to be naïve; however, I can assure you that my experience of Jesus’ carrying me through all those times of life when I simply could not go on have only solidified this truth in my life. I can say with absolute assurance that not only is all my affliction momentary, not only is all my affliction light in comparison to eternity and the glory there; but all of it is totally meaningful. Every millisecond of my pain, from the fallen nature or fallen man, every millisecond of my misery in the path of obedience is producing a peculiar glory I will get because of that. I don’t care if it was cancer or criticism. I don’t care if it was slander or sickness. It wasn’t meaningless. It’s doing something! And, that “something” is for my good; it’s not meaningless. The same is true in your life if you are a child of God. Our temptation is to first ask “why?” That’s simply the wrong question. Every crisis of life, when death encroaches into our family circle, when we hear the doctor tell us we have cancer, when we see a loved one begin the early stages of dementia, all of these and countless others merely serve to bring us to an unfathomable good. They are working for us an eternal weight of glory. Therefore, therefore, we do not lose heart. We can take these truths and day by day focus on them. Preach them to ourselves every morning. Get alone with God and preach his word into our mind until our heart sings with confidence that we are new and cared for. That brings us to a point of great hope. We can now ask the right question of “who?” We will see more of the specifics of this principle in the coming days. Today let the Apostle Paul give you the direction of hope: So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:16-18...

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