January 29, 2018 by: Dave Furman – Crossway Ministries
1. Suffering is a result of the fall.
God warned Adam that eating the forbidden fruit would result in death (Gen 2). Romans 5:12 confirms that this happened after Adam’s fall, “Just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned.” Death (and the accompanying pain and suffering) came as a result of that first sin and our continued sin. Pain, suffering, and death—in and of themselves—are not good.
2. God uses suffering for good.
Thankfully, Romans 8 tells us “That for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” God never tells us our pain is good, but he uses pain to work for our good in his miraculous and mysterious way.
One of the ways God uses pain is to wake us up and bring up to himself. Our tendency in times of trial may be to run away from God, become angry with God, or idolize worldly comfort. Charles Spurgeon said it well when he encouraged us to look to God in our pain. He is attributed with saying, “I have learned to kiss the wave that throws me against the Rock of Ages.” We need to realize that God is in control over all our circumstances . . . and he is good. We need to open our eyes in our pain and see that our circumstances are taking us right to God.