In this fallen world, we often need to be reminded that our suffering doesn’t have to be wasted.
Author Mark Batterson has this excellent perspective: “Some of your earthly experiences won’t make sense this side of eternity. And I cannot promise you a painless existence. But in God’s economy, your temporal pain can result in someone else’s eternal gain,” he says in his book, “If: Trading Your If-Only Regrets for God’s What-If Possibilities.”
When suffering strikes, we’re often reeling so hard from the experience.
Unless we’ve prepared for it, we cannot possibly use the experience to help anyone else.
After all, most of the time we can barely help ourselves, right?
That’s why our hearts must be so deeply fortified in God’s presence that nothing shakes us from the knowledge of His love.
The Bible is full of examples of the faithful who suffered yet taught us so much.
Mary was an unmarried pregnant teen; Paul was beaten, jailed, and stoned; David was chased like a criminal by Saul; Job lost everything and everyone he loved; Esther faced certain death to save her people from extinction; and Noah was a laughingstock to the crowds.
All of them have a testimony of God’s divine power and unending love woven into the powerful part they played in changing the history of the world … and eternity.
The pain of adversity runs rampant in this fallen world.
Will we allow divorce, death, heartbreak, poverty, or disappointment drive us to despair?
Or will we allow God to turn our adversity into a positive eternal influence for someone else?
I wrote nearly all of these devotionals during times of adversity, when I was seeking answers to heartbreak and trouble.
I was seeking both God’s presence and His Word.
The Bible says, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).
My prayer is that God, who comforted me in my affliction with His presence and His Word, will also provide each reader with the same comfort.
I want my pain to be someone else’s eternal gain.
There is no earthly comfort for our affliction that compares to the “God of all comfort.”
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