Have you ever wondered if there was a purpose to your pain? Knowing there’s a purpose behind our difficult circumstances doesn’t take away the sting of suffering, but it can give us a glimmer of encouragement and help us persevere.
This month, we’re looking at God’s purpose in suffering. Our goal isn’t to wrap up suffering in a neat package with a bow. There’s nothing pretty about pain. But in God’s kind sovereignty, He brings beauty from brokenness as He weaves our trials into the tapestry of His purposes.
In Philippians, Paul addresses friends who were upset about his imprisonment. These friends feared Paul’s imprisonment would end his travel and preaching. They may have worried that the entire Christian movement would fizzle out and die. But Paul reassured them that the gospel continued to go forth:
“I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel, so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard and to all the rest that my imprisonment is for Christ. And most of the brothers, having become confident in the Lord by my imprisonment, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.” (Philippians 1:12-14)
Your suffering may look differently from Paul’s, but God will use it to advance the gospel. Maybe your suffering is private. No one else even knows. But as you grow in dependence on the Lord, you’re advancing the gospel in your own heart. If your suffering is known by your family or a small circle of friends, they can watch you run to the Lord with your pain and be encouraged to trust Him more.
Whether you’re encouraging thousands with your story or quietly walking in obedience each day, rest assured that in God’s economy, no suffering is wasted. Your trials are advancing the good news of God’s faithfulness, mercy, and grace.
No matter what we face this week, our suffering advances the gospel.
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