When "Sin" (anything we do or do not do that does not please God and agree with the truths of His word) entered the world, God's perfect design for the world, for families, for relationships, for humanity, and for the form and function of the human body was filled with "brokenness" and "disease." Suffering entered the world in many different forms, of which we do not understand, nor do we have the answers for all of our questions. However, as you will read in the sections below, God's desire is to use our suffering ultimately for His glory and purposes as we allow Him to redeem our story, our struggles, our pain, and our pilgrimage at which time it becomes His story, for the benefit of others.
"Pain is often God's megaphone" - C. S. Lewis God will often use our difficult circumstances to get our attention, and to give us a clearer view of Himself, and to build into our character, the very virtues that are seldom cultivated into our lives in any other way.
2 Corinthians 12:7-10 Paul's "Thorn in the Flesh"
"To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me."
Paul would rather experience struggles and pain, and therefore, experience the power of Christ, than to have no struggles or suffering, and not know the power of God
Paul's suffering guarded his heart against pride, cultivating humility, and hus suffering caused him to rely on the strength of Christ, rather than his own.
God's Purpose in Suffering: God uses suffering to bring us to a place of worship and closeness to Him, even without us having "All the answers" to our circumstances. Suffering is one of God's tools used to build godly character. God can use suffering to "wean" us off of our feelings, and onto a deeper faith and trust in His word. He can use suffering to prepare us to serve Him, using our struggles, weaknesses, and suffering as qualifiers to do His work. God knows more about what He desires to accomplish in our lives through suffering than we realize, to discipline and train us, to make us more like His son Jesus. God will use the "Storms" and "Thorns" in our lives to cultivate in us things that He desires to use for His glory that cannot be produced in any other way.
"Discover God's Purpose for Permitted Depression" - An excerpt from DEPRESSION: Walking From Darkness Into The Dawn by: June Hunt, a Biblical Counselor and Founder of Hope For The Heart Ministry. "God has a purpose for every thing that touches you. Even the storm clouds in your life are useful in the hands of God. Depression can heighten your awareness of God and increase your dependency on God. It can open your eyes to His unique design for you before, during and after your bouts with despondency. Remember, just as storms replenish dry and parched ground and give birth to flowers and new life in the spring, so the storms in your life can revitalize your relationship with God and give birth to abundant fruit of the Spirit in your life. (pgs. 67-70)
God is Sovereign meaning there is absolutely nothing that happens in the universe that is outside of God’s influence and authority. And nothing is allowed to touch our lives, no matter how painful or difficult, that has not been first sifted through the very hands of our loving, heavenly Father who knows best and who is able to "make all things work together for good, to those who are called according to His purpose." (Romans 8:28)
"The goodness of God does not consist in a desire to cushion His children from the hardships and pains of life, but in a providential interest in us,.....aimed at our moral development" --- Hugh Evan Hopkins
The Story Behind the Song "Healing Hands of God" by Jeremy Camp