If I’m hurting, I may not want you to tell me all the ways it could be good for me. But there are some things that God has said that come to mind in times of trouble, and they do help. When God comforts me in my distress, it enables me to be a better comforter to those who are hurting (2 Corinthians 1:4). The same passage says that “God comforts us in all our tribulation.”
Pain can bring me closer to God. “Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray” (James 5:13). Two men in a foxhole or two men at the bowling alley, which scenario is likely to form a stronger bond? “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me? (Psalm 23:4)
Pain can help me to get my priorities straight. “Better to go to the house of mourning than to go to the house of feasting, for that is the end of all men; and the living will take it to heart” (Ecclesiastes 7:2). Earthly wealth and fame, the lust of the eyes and flesh, the pride of life, the love of this world; no, no, no, no – God, Jesus and the Spirit, the church, family, what’s right, these are the things that mean the most.
Pain can help me go to heaven. Paul’s thorn in the flesh was there to keep him humble. God resists the proud. Pride goes before a fall. God hates a proud look. But He gives grace to the humble. In our weakness, we are better able to recognize God’s strength, rely on Him and not trust in ourselves. (2 Corinthians 12:7-10).
We are better men and women for all our adversity, if we are trained by it (Hebrews 12:11). We can become bitter and even rebellious toward God for our suffering or we can take comfort from Him and mature as we long for our reward, our heavenly home, where we will have immortal bodies, there will be no more pain and God will wipe away every tear. – Taken from “The Harvester,” bulletin of the church in Trenton, TN (August 13, 2023).