The Gift of Suffering
"The LORD replied, "Look around at the nations; look and be amazed! For I am doing something in your own day, something you wouldn't believe even if someone told you about it." NLT
Have you ever prayed to the Lord only to have Him answer in a way that was completely unexpected? This was what happened to the prophet Habakkuk. He was praying for God to bring revival to Judah, and God's response was to bring in the Babylonians to take over Judah. This would be like us praying for revival in the United States and to have God respond by sending ISIS to take over America.
Why would God allow this kind of thing to happen? Did He not care for His people? Wasn't there another way? I'm sure this is what Habakkuk was thinking after God spoke, and this is most likely our response as well. Many times when we experience suffering we ask God to remove it or we run from it like nothing good could come out of it. The reality is that God allows suffering in our lives to draw us closer to Him and produce fruit in our lives. If we never experienced troubled times, how would we demonstrate the fruits of the Spirit? Not only that, but if there was no hardship here on earth, then heaven would lose its luster. So, today as you walk through life, don't simply ask for escape from suffering, but ask God to use that suffering for your good and His glory. You'll be surprised with what happens next.
Life Lesson: Don't be surprised by suffering. Use it as a means to deepen your walk with God.
While it may be difficult to say, I want to thank You for my suffering. It may be difficult to endure, but I know that You have a reason behind each and every tear. Strengthen and guide me so that I can be used by You. In Jesus' name, Amen.