This might be a bitter pill for some of you to swallow, but the fact is, it isn’t always God’s plan to spare people from suffering. In many instances it is His plan and their need to go through a painful experience–even though it hurts us to see them hurting. While we are concerned about when they will get out of it, God is concerned about what they get out of it. And He knows what they/we need better than we do, and His timing is perfect. Just as fruit needs to ripen before it is picked and as babies need to cry to develop their lungs, we often need to suffer to grow or benefit in some other way before God gives us relief. He develops us before He delivers us.
It is interesting that after saying to His disciples, “In the world ye shall have tribulation” (John 16:33) Jesus said, “I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil“(John 17:15). Clearly His desire isn’t that we be kept from suffering, but from sin.Our desire is generally just the opposite. We are more concerned about suffering than we are about sin. Need evidence? Go to a prayer meeting. For every prayer request regarding sin there are thousands related to sickness and suffering. Were we more concerned about sin I suspect we would suffer less, but we don’t seem to see that.
We have a problem with this for a couple reasons. First, we are born with a sinful selfish nature. Second is the fact that most parents fail. They teach their children that to get what they want all they have to do is cry, complain, or criticize. As soon as they whimper the mother runs to their aid. And most parents today think they are showing love by not spanking their children. Actually just the opposite is true. You are hurting your child more by not spanking them than you are by spanking them. Other than Christ there has probably never been a child that didn’t need a spanking at some point. Even when a child gets older, past the point of spanking, you can’t always help them by helping them. You are not doing your kid a favor by bailing them out of trouble every time they do something wrong. They don’t always need a soft place to fall– sometimes they need to hit rock bottom. If you aren’t careful you will become an enabler. You think what you’re doing is out of love, but it isn’t. Love gives them what they need, and sometimes they need to hurt before they can be helped. The old song that says, “No one ever cared for me like Jesus” is true, but the care He gives sometimes is painful.
While we should never use this as an excuse to withhold comfort and aid from others, neither should we be so foolish as to think we can solve every problem by making things easier for a person. Sometimes experience is the best teacher. The only hope for some that things will get better is for them to get worse first. Unlike prosperity, pain has a way of driving us to our knees in prayer. Think about it