God Never Wastes a Hurt
Our culture seeks to create a painless utopia in which everyone wins, there is never a loss, sickness is alleviated, and evil is eliminated. The problem with culture is that it has a limited amount to tools with which to work. If laws were able to achieve utopia, then we are subjected to an endless list of restrictions and regulations. The problem with law is that humans are rebels by nature.
Is utopia achieved through economics? If so, then every person is subjected to the "same." We each get the same amount of provision, we live the same, make the same, and work the same. The problem with "same" is that we are all different. We are equal, but we are not the same.
One day we will enter the ideal, but not by the regulation of law nor the limitation of economics. A world free of sickness, loss, and evil only will come about by redemption and renewal. It is through the sacrificial death of Christ, His resurrection, and triumphant return that we will enter a New Heaven and a New Earth that is God's ideal for us, His images.
Until then, we will get hurt. But the Bible says some remarkable things about our suffering. The Bible teaches that God never wastes a hurt.
Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.Romans 5:3-5
Our Confidence in Crisis
The Bible says that we rejoice in our sufferings because of what we know. We know that our suffering is not arbitrary, but that it is an opportunity. We are confident in the sovereign hand of God that our suffering will not separate us from His love for us (Romans 8) but rather serve to demonstrate His love for us. We suffer much like an athlete preparing for the season. The workouts are not pleasant, but he does not doubt their necessity. He is confident that it is a part of the process.
The Product of our Pain
Repeated throughout the passage is the word "produces." As a seed and soil are necessary to fruit, so is suffering to endurance, endurance to character, and character to hope. In the economy of our Savior, hurt only helps to solidify hope. In His Sovereign hand, hurt does not destroy hope, but fertilizes it.
God's Sustenance in Suffering
In our suffering, we experience the presence of God. The Bible says that the Holy Spirit pours out the love of God in our hearts. We are pragmatic. We prefer a YouTube video explaining "how to feel the love of God." But that experience is not produced by a set of steps, but by suffering. It is in the midst of our heart that God's Spirit resonates in our heart, "I am here."
God never wastes a hurt.
Bible Study and Challenge
Read Romans 5:6-11.
- List the ways this passage associates Christ's suffering with our salvation.
- List the promises contained in this passage. Believe them.
- How does this passage call for you to praise Jesus today?
Recall a painful time in your life that you walked through before you were a believer in Christ. How did you deal with that hurt? Now recall a time in which you walked through suffering AS a believer in Jesus Christ. How did God's Word, prayer, and God's Holy Spirit help you through that hurt? Compare the two responses. Pray through Romans 5:1-11. Ask God to help you surrender to His help through your hurts.
God never wastes a hurt. Join us for Celebrate Recovery at Liberty.