There was a beautiful sunrise this morning. Several of my friends posted photos of it from their homes, and each was different from the others. As I gazed on the beauty of this miracle, I was filled with wonder at the goodness and love of God. After all, He didn’t have to give us sunrises. In His infinite power and wisdom, He could have formed the world with no beauty at all, or he could have created us without sight (Exodus 4:11) so that we would never enjoy gazing on any such magnificent scene. He certainly didn’t need beauty and awe and wonder in His life, for He Himself is beauty and awe and wonder! Yet, here we have something beautiful to behold! Why has He given us such pleasure?
“Why must we suffer?”
“Why don’t You heal?”
“Why does this affliction go on and on?”
The answer to all these questions is: For the glory of God!
It’s easy to see God’s glory in a magnificent sunrise, a beautiful snowfall, and many other wonders of His world. Such things naturally inspire praise in a child of God. But how can we see glory in suffering, pain, and affliction? I believe the glory God receives in these things is not in the trials themselves, but in the believer’s response to them. God takes no pleasure in our suffering. Many of the Psalms portray the compassion of God for His suffering children (Psalm 56:8; Psalm 103:8; Psalm 116:5, Psalm 119:156).
But God does take great pleasure in our right response to suffering. So what is the right response to suffering? According to the Bible, the right response includes trusting God, persevering in faith, and proclaiming God’s love in the midst of it.
When we trust God in our suffering, not accusing Him of doing wrong or complaining about our trial, He is glorified. I’m not saying we have to like the trial, or even that we can’t tell Him we don’t like it. Biblical complaint is certainly legitimate, and we are welcomed by God to pour out our hearts before Him (Psalm 62:8). But after the complaint, we press on in trust and faith, believing what God’s Word says about Him and His character. A. W. Pink has written an excellent book entitled, The Attributes of God. If you’re having trouble trusting Him in your trial, I suggest you read it.
How do we persevere in faith? The same way the saints down through the ages did it. I could describe that here, but you’d be better served to just go read Hebrews 11. There is no greater demonstration of faith than the actions of the people in that chapter. As you trust and persevere, the final step will come naturally. You will not be able to keep the evidences of God’s faithfulness to yourself. You will proclaim His love to others just as naturally as you used to complain about your trial! When God demonstrates His faithfulness to you, you won’t be able to hold back your joy and satisfaction in Him.
So, my believing friend, when you wake up tomorrow morning, and the sun rises over your town, remember God’s faithfulness to you. If you are tempted to ask why you must suffer, remember that the reason is the same as the reason the sun rises. For the glory of God! Amen?