Our Suffering Is For Our Good
God’s purposes in suffering are not only for His own glory, but also ultimately for our own good. The story in John 9 of the man born blind provides Jesus with the occasion to demonstrate that the man’s suffering was ultimately for the man’s own good. After Jesus heals the man’s blindness, the man later has occasion to meet with Jesus, where Jesus shares with the man His identity as the Messiah. By reason of the healing, the man accepted Jesus as His Savior. John 9:38. If you could speak with that man now, in heaven, I am certain that he would tell you that he is glad that he was born blind. His blindness turned out to be for his good, because it provided him the occasion to meet with Jesus and, ultimately, to become His devoted follower.
One of the great wonders of the gospel of Jesus Christ is that the plan which most glorifies God is also what is best for us. Our good and God’s glory are not at odds. John Piper preaches that “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.” God’s greatest gift to us is himself. “If He withholds Himself from our contemplation and companionship, no matter what else He gives us, He is not loving.” John Piper, Desiring God (Colorado Springs, CO: Multnomah, 1986, rev 2003), 48.
The ultimate good that God has for us is not what is most comfortable to us. In exchange for the safe, comfortable life to which we think we are entitled, God calls us to a life far more difficult and strenuous than what we would choose, but far more spiritually challenging and fruitful than we could ever fathom. The Bible promises that God “works all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28. In times like these, when we don’t see or feel how God is using our child’s death for our good, we must trust that what God is doing really is for our good. Ultimately, we will learn that God did indeed have our best in mind.
If you are suffering through the death of a child, isn’t it possible that, just as God used the blind man’s infirmity to glorify himself, God will also work through your weakness to glorify himself? Isn’t it also possible that, as of this moment, we cannot grasp everything that has occurred and will occur by reason of your child’s death, and that God will use your child’s death to accomplish many and varied good things, whether in your life or the lives of others?
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