It sounds like a contradiction.
The Word says if you choose to be His, then you will suffer: “For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake” (Philippians 1:29).
The purpose of God is that we may become partakers of His nature. Suffering is the means by which that happens. The result is the beauty of Christ being seen in us, this treasure in our earthen vessels, so that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us (see 2 Corinthians 4:7).
Amid the suffering, our journey often feels clouded, and we can wonder where is God? What is He doing? In our loneliness and the darkness we feel, God is at work. These lines below are a few stanzas from a poem I wrote about those times of suffering when we don’t understand how the Lord is moving.
It’s been a long time since I laughed,
My friends say.
I never thought about it
But now as I do
I nod my head and agree with them
For I am no more the person I was.
Pain and questions hound me night and day
Feeling all alone
I try to smile in return to kind words from friends.
I walk out of myself and look at me
And wish so much to be the person I was.
When the day breaks, the sun gets up
I so much wish for the night to come back.
With my heart full of pain, I stumble through the day.
Night allows me to sleep
And forget the pain.
But I know, some day, I will be the person I was.
I pray to God about a million things.
Surely He hears and knows my aches
But He operates without time and space
And the Sovereign has all in control
But for now I feel lost and want to be found.
I tell myself, someday, this will all pass
And I will be even better than I was.
So I must move on
Limping my way through
This wilderness of trial,
Believing, God is good
And some day this season will be over and
Once more I will laugh again, so be it.
May you know He is nearby, and may His grace sustain you in your time of suffering that you will not lose hope or your faith.
“That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death” (Philippians 3:10).