Suffering Is…Good?

Isaiah 38:9-20 particularly 17

Hezekiah had been a good King who followed the law of God, and loved the Lord with all his heart. But, he suddenly became ill and was in his deathbed. He prayed and God healed him, and even added 15 years to his life! God even delivered Israel from the hands of the king of Assyria. Upon being healed Hezekiah wrote about his life and the happening of his illness. He came to the conclusion midway through, “Surely it was for my benefit that I suffered such anguish.” Hezekiah realized that God was doing something that seemed horrible to Hezekiah, but it was for his benefit.

Sometimes in our lives we will suffer anguish, but ultimately it is for our good. We are so near sighted as humans and can’t even begin to understand the vastness and depth of God’s full sightedness. He sees the whole picture, and is willing for us to suffer a little now and then for the greater good in the end. 1 Peter 2:20 also tells us that, “if you suffer for doing good and endure it, this is commendable before God.” We have to try and cast off our near sightedness, and see the whole picture of what God has for us!

In his book “The Release of the Spirit,” Watchman Nee discusses this very topic.

“The Holy Spirit has not ceased working. He makes sure one event after another and one difficulty after another come to us. These disciplinary workings of the Holy Spirit have but one purpose – to break our outward man so that our inward man may come through. Yet here is our difficulty – we fret over trifles, we murmur at small losses, and we complain about insignificant things. The Lord is ever finding and preparing a way in order to use us. Yet when His hand slightly touches us, we begin to feel unhappy – even to the extent of quarreling with God and having a negative attitude. Since the time we were saved, we have been touched by the Lord many times in various ways – all with the purpose of breaking our outward man.” – Release of the Spirit, pg. 15.

So stop trying to run from or complain about the challenges that  are presented before you in life, rather ask how the Lord is trying to utilize the experience for your and His greatest good in your life. I know, I know, easier said then done. But I challenge you change your thinking when hardship comes your way. Develop it as a habit and eventually it will be come second nature, to seek God when hardships come, and seek his plan for the situation. So we can say like Hezekiah, “Surely it was for my benefit that I suffered such anguish.”

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