Hi sweet friends! I hope everyone had a great weekend! I got to go to a cooking class with Cory and my parents, which they’d gifted us for Christmas and it was a blast. We made Cochinita Pibil Tacos (Yucatan-style pork braised in bitter orange juice), fish tacos with limed cabbage & cumin crema, a trio of salsas, black bean salad, and sopapillas with cinnamon and honey. Everything was seriously SO delicious and I can’t wait to try and cook it all again for a group of friends.
This weekend I also started reading a short devotional called Go Deeper that I got at IF:GATHERING. The first day’s topic, written by Jennie Allen, answered a question I often ask, so I wanted to share it with yall incase you ever wonder the same thing.
The question is: Why does God let us suffer? Here are the 5 reasons from the devotional that might be why God allows suffering:
1. We know Jesus Better.
Every time I’m inclined to be mad at God, He shows me Jesus. “I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in His suffering” (Philippians 3:10). Jesus seems to inhabit suffering. We find Him right there alongside us in our darkest places of grief and despair.
2. We get stronger.
Bravery and compassion and humility and gentleness and hope are forged in the fire of suffering.
3. We ache for heaven.
God calls us to “Count it all joy when we meet trials of various kinds” (James 1:2-3) because this gufering is working in us and for His purposes. Then He reminds us later in the chapter that our perseverance through it all leads to a crown of life. It is all leading to heaven.
If hurting makes me ache for heaven, makes me see my need for God, makes me stronger for my few days here, makes me Loe and empathize with others, makes me less selfish, makes me humble like I should be, then I want to suffer.
4. We long for a life of true, eternal significance.
Our lives are a breath, but if I am here for just a minute, I’d like my one little breath to feel more like a mighty gust of wind. And that takes surrender and that takes perseverance and not tasing my minutes on my phone or Netflix.
It is an honor to suffer. It is a privilege We get to know Christ as we share in His suffering.
5. We become more effective at giving people God through our suffering.
Suffering is a heavy load to bear. But tucked underneath its crushing weight, we find perseverance, character and hope waiting for us. Instead of anxious pacing or hardened bittterness, let suffering have its full effect so that God can do in and through you the workably He an accomplish through suffering, the work that allows your life to reflect His purposes to a watching, hurting world.
I don’t know what you’re going through, but I’m sure at some point you’ve felt the pain of suffering. I hope that the reasons and scripture above can encourage you like they’ve encouraged me to keep my eyes on Christ through the midst of trials.
Love, Amy Cotton