Christ’s resurrection was preceded by a short period of suffering. It’s a guarantee to us that we do suffer. There is pain and sorrow. It is often the will of God that we suffer feelings of emptiness and even pain. “Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator” (1 Peter 4:19, NKJV).
The problem is that we do not want to suffer or be hurt. We want painless deliverance, supernatural intervention. “Do it, God,” we pray, “because I am weak and always will be. Do it all while I go my way, waiting for a supernatural deliverance.”
We may blame our troubles on demons. We seek out a man of God and hope he can cast out the demon so that we can go on our way with no more pain. We want to breeze right through to a peaceful life of victory. We want someone to lay hands on us and drive away all the spiritual dryness, but sometimes the Lord’s will is to work through our hardship. Victory is not always without grave suffering. Look at your sin. Face it. Scripture commands us, “Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when his glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy” (1 Peter 4:12-13, NKJV).
We are also promised, “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning” (Psalm 30:5). Thank God, suffering is always just a period before final victory! If we patiently endure our trials, we can expect worthy rewards. “May the God of all grace, who called us to his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you” (1 Peter 5:10).
God’s love demands a choice. If God supernaturally lifted us out of every battle without pain or suffering, it would abort all trials and all temptation; there would be no free choice and no testing as by fire. It would be God superimposing his will on mankind. He chooses to meet us in our dryness and show us how it can become the way into a new life of faith.