Our suffering can seem to have no purpose at times, but knowing God is faithful is enough for us to hold on to during the rough times. Pastor Charles explains.
“I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them.” (Isaiah 42:16)
I remember early in my suffering with back problems of how I questioned God and wondered why I was going through these situations. I thought of so many others who were doing much worse with their lives and it seemed as if their lives were a bed of roses. I kept on trying to tell God that I did not deserve this. I even went to the extent of blaming God for my pain. This was before I knew Jesus personally as my Savior.
I was totally blind to what God was about to do in my life. I was about to be led down a path that would change my life and the lives of countless others forever. God was up to something great and would use the pain and problems of life throughout the years to reveal His will to me.
My life was full of darkness. He used this pain in my life to first and foremost to draw me to Himself. Jesus wants to use our pain and illness for His glory. Jesus wants to use our pain and illnesses for His glory and to draw people into the Kingdom. He wants to remove all darkness from our lives and replace it with His presence, His joy, and His peace.
Sometimes because of our nature of sin, rebellion, and stubbornness, God has to do things the hard way to get our attention. After I accepted Christ in the midst of this pain, I experienced a hope and a peace that I never thought was possible while enduring excruciating pain.
Even after we allow Jesus to become the Savior of our lives, it is only the beginning of a life long journey that will end someday with our faith becoming reality as we see Him face to face. God knows that we still have rough places in our lives as a result of the nature of sin that we are born with. There are habits that need to be broken, shackles of addiction that we need broken, and attitudes that need to be changed. God uses our suffering of illness and pain as a refining fire in helping us smooth out the rough edges so that our lives may reflect Jesus.
God is faithful to bring to completion what He has started. Philippians 1:6 tells us that “He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” 2 Timothy 2:13 takes this a step further and says that “He remains faithful, for He cannot disown Himself.” Even at times when life’s problems take a hit at our faith, we can still be assured that God is still at work in our lives.
The line of Scripture before this is only a prelude to the verse that precedes it. The answer to how God is at work in our lives is answered in the last line of this Scripture. He does this through His sweet presence in our lives every moment of every day. It is an encouragement to know that I have a Savior that can relate to my pain, my anxieties, and life’s other problems. He walked this earth as one of us so that He could personally understand my life.
As I look back over the past 11 years, I have received my answer of why these things had to happen. He wanted me to trust in Him so that He could take me on a journey of faith that would totally transform my life and reflect the light of Christ into lives around me. Even though God is not the Creator of suffering and illness, He allows it and will use it in amazing ways. “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
Prayer: Father, thank You for your everlasting presence in my life as I could never make it without You. Help me Lord to use my pain and situations for Your glory. May my life be a living testimony of how You can totally transform the life of one who is totally submitted to You. We pray this is the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
About the Author:
Charles Wells is an ordained minister who lives in Texas with his 10-year-old son, 6-year-old daughter, and his wife. He suffers from major spinal problems and has had three major back surgeries. He has taken this pain and uses it for God’s glory by ministering to people in nursing homes, rehab centers, and writing on these experiences. You may visit his blog at https://revcawells.wordpress.com
How has God used your sufferings for His glory? Are you willing to totally surrender your will to God and submit to His?