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Can Anything Good Come from Suffering?

by Dallas Theological Seminary on July 7, 2006 in Articles

We will never fully understand why God permits evil, but we know from the Bible that He can use our trials to accomplish several things.

  • To encourage us to pray
    Call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me” (Ps. 50:15).
  • To keep us from pride
    To keep me from becoming conceited … there was given me a thorn in my flesh” (2 Cor. 12:7).
  • To deepen us spiritually
    We know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope” (Rom. 5:3–4).
  • To advance the gospel
    What has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel” (Phil. 1:12)
  • To focus our attention on God
    When I was in distress, I sought the Lord” (Ps. 77:2).
  • To help us see that God is wiser than we are
    My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes” (Job 42:5–6).
  • To bring praise and glory to God 
    This sickness ... is for God's glory so that God's Son may be glorified through it’” (John 11:4). 

These and other benefits—which God can bring about through our suffering—do not suggest that evil itself is good. Though God allows evil now, someday He will banish all sorrow for those who have trusted in Jesus Christ for salvation.

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