Can illness and suffering be beneficial to us?
When Suffering Seems Unbearable Series.
The Worst Thing That Could Ever Happen. When Suffering
Seems Unbearable, Part 6
What is the worst thing that could ever happen to you?
For most of us Westerners, anything related to suffering (disease, break-up,
loss of job, finances, etc) seems to be our worst nightmare. In fact, some of us
specialize in worrying about every possible scenario, even those that will
likely never happen, where hurt and pain would literally terrorize us to the
Not so in countries where Christians are persecuted. Suffering is an everyday
fact, so why worry about it? In fact, this is a Biblical concept: "Each day has
enough trouble of its own." (Matt 6:34 NIV). No, for these Christians the worst
thing that could ever happen is for them to be disobedient to their Lord Jesus,
Can you imagine the terrible loss if we were to ever turn our backs to our
Saviour? Suffering is temporary and can lead us closer to our Master, but
disobedience hurts our God to the core, and can even lead to eternal
I read somewhere about a missionary who worked with women in Ethiopia who had
been kicked out of their homes because of their faith in Jesus. These ladies had
already lost everything because of their decision to follow Jesus. They had lost
their homes, their incomes, and even their families and friends! Their only
livelihood was begging in the streets, and they were now living in slum
conditions. The missionary couldn't resist asking them: "What does Jesus mean to
Their answer amazed him: "Jesus means everything to us! He provides for all of
our needs. He loves us and cares for us. He is our Father."
Is it possible that those of us who live in the Western world have been blinded
to what really matters in our lives? Are all of our security blankets hindering
us from truly trusting the One who provides?
Yes, we will go through some terrible suffering. We live in a world of sin and
we can expect viscous trouble and pain. Even Jesus confirms this for us: "In
this world you will have trouble." (John 16:33a NIV) However we often tend to
forget what He said after these words: "But take heart! I have overcome the
world." (John 16:33b NIV)
Jesus has overcome this world. Jesus has overcome our dire circumstances. No
matter what happens to us, if we remain focussed on Jesus, we will end up where
tears and suffering are non-existent, and we will forever be in His presence!
Doesn't that fill us with adrenaline? Aren't we anticipating the day when we
will see Jesus face to face? Aren't we looking forward to the time we will be
able to participate in unrestrained worship with all of our hearts and souls, as
well as with our perfectly healthy bodies?
May we learn from Jesus to always insist on glorifying God's name, no matter our
circumstances! "Now my heart is troubled, and what shall I say? 'Father, save me
from this hour'? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. Father,
glorify your name!" (John 12:27-28 NIV)
Tell me truly, what is the worst thing that could ever happen to you?
Find out about mustard covered faith.