by Melissa Main
Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his loved into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. Romans 5:3-5
I have not developed the spiritual maturity to say that I enjoy suffering. I am still at the stage where I despise it. However, I do realize that there is a direct connection between the depth of my suffering and the depth of my joy. I have noticed that periods of intense suffering in my life have made me more thankful for the good times. I whine less about the small, insignificant irritations of life. (I still whine a little too much at times, and you guessed it; God is still teaching me lessons through the process of suffering.)
Sometimes God gives us a feast of tears before giving us a feast of blessings. When the blessings do come, we can be truly thankful. We don’t let the less than perfect status of life steal the intense joy God has in store for us. Often, God gives people pain before pleasure. Notice the pattern in the Bible–prison for Joseph before being promoted to second in command in Egypt, slavery for the Jewish people before being freed from Pharaoh’s harsh rule, and Jesus dying on a cross before his glorious resurrection. God can and does use suffering to produce good things in our life such as thankfulness and hope.
This theme is eloquently expressed in Laura Story’s song, “Blessings.”
The story behing her song is also an encouragement.