Monday, October 17, 2016

Dial Daily Bread: Why Has God Permitted You to Suffer?

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

Have you wondered why God permitted you to suffer a keen and painful disappointment? Perhaps an illness, a bereavement, perhaps a love betrayed and lost?

The biggest, most painful "Why?" ever screamed was on the cross by the Son of God Himself: "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?" Everything came apart; His life and His mission totally disintegrated; He drank to the full the bitter cup of purest disappointing agony that you have had just a brief taste of; and He drank it to the full so that He could comfort and encourage you now in your experience of pain.

And He permitted you to have this taste of it so that you might share with Him the joy of ministering comfort to someone else who is going through it.

Here is the divine anatomy of comfort: "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the all-merciful Father, the God whose consolation never fails us! He comforts us in all our troubles, so that we in turn may be able to comfort others in any trouble of theirs and to share with them the consolation we ourselves receive from God" (2 Cor. 1:3, 4, The New English Bible).

To become a pipe through which flows the healing water of life to people who suffer is a little taste of the joy that the Lord Himself knows! We can't fully appreciate what the Son of God went through for us, but this is a little heavenly gift of joy--to become "consolers" who minister the consolation He ministers!

Think of that outstanding example of suffering: Job. He and his wife suffered enormously, but what he was doing was to defend the plan of salvation before the rebel forces of the universe; he was loyal to the character of God; he proved Satan was dead wrong and that God is totally right--a magnificent achievement that will make him happy forever, and maybe better still, has "comforted" billions in our here and now before final judgment.

Find somebody (you won't have to look far) who needs a living word of salvation to come from some human lips; and take your place in God's great providence of comfort ministered.

--Robert J. Wieland

From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: February 4, 2008.
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