Psalm 34:19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the LORD delivers him out of them all.
What a beautiful promise of deliverance this is for the child of God….one that many have clung to in the dark seasons of life. Deliverance. An end to the trial. This is often our sole focus in time of trouble, trial and affliction….the end of it. But what about the fruit of it? What about the work of God through it? That same verse tells us that afflictions WILL come. Many afflictions. It is an unavoidable part of life. Can we believe there is purpose in it?
Acts 16 – Paul had been in Philippi for many days. He had been to Lydia’s house and to the river, but what about this jailer? How would he hear the gospel? The wisdom of God is to put His ministers in jail. Paul’s prison was for this man’s soul.
Paul probably didn’t know this when he was beaten and put in the stocks, but He trusted God enough to leave His suffering to God’s sovereign purpose. How else would he be able to worship in such a situation?
My suffering often benefits me when I allow myself to be instructed through it and I am grateful for the lessons I have learned and the experience with God through it. But maybe….just maybe…my suffering is for someone else. How easy to bear is a prison that brings forth a soul.