It is easy to be overwhelmed with our problems. We hurt. We feel discouraged. We feel betrayed. We feel useless. We feel hopeless. In moments like these, the last thing in the world we want to say is, “Thank you, God!” But that’s exactly what we ought to be saying!
We don’t feel like thanking God for our pains and our weaknesses because we think life is about us. We think life is about our happiness. We think that when we’re unhappy and in pain, something is not working right. God has forgotten us. God is letting us down. Well, guess what? I hate to be the one to break it to you, but this life is not about you! It isn’t about whether or not you feel good or whether or not you’re “happy.”
When you are in pain and you are suffering, God hasn’t let you down, He hasn’t forgotten you; He is giving you an opportunity to fulfill the purpose for which you were created–to bring glory to Him.
Consider Paul, who suffered more than you and I could possibly imagine. Read 2 Corinthians 11:23-28:
…far greater labors, far more imprisonments, with countless beatings, and often near death. Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one. Three times I was beaten with rods.Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea; on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety forall the churches.
He begged God, over and over and over, that his suffering–his thorn in the flesh–might be taken away. But God simply said to Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9). In other words, I won’t take away your suffering. You have everything you need, and much more than you deserve. I won’t take it away because I am glorified in your weakness. Through suffering, God was allowing Paul to fulfill the purpose for which he had been created and the purpose for which he had been saved–to bring glory to God!
So this was Paul’s response, “Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10). Paul realized the value of his weakness, the value of his pain, because through it he could bring glory to God!
When will we realize that our purpose in life is to bring glory to God? It is time for a new perspective on life. It is time to see everything that happens as having one purpose. It is time to see that the purpose of you having wealth, health, happiness, pain, suffering, or weakness is all the same–that you might have the opportunity to bring glory to Him!
So when things are going well or when you’re weak, give thanks to God for an opportunity to glorify Him!
I love you and a glorious God loves you,